34 Vaud-based firms are part of the label today. Despite the difficulties encountered due to the COVID pandemic, 117 new jobs were created in Switzerland by the Vaud scale-ups in 2020. For their CEOs, the support received by the Scale Up Vaud program has been particularly important over the past 12 months. The initiative has also adapted its offer, in line with the current COVID crisis.
An annual label created in 2016, Scale Up Vaud helps the CEOs of high-growth Vaud technology companies manage the scaling-up of their business in Switzerland as well as internationally. The general slowdown in investments generated by the global coronavirus pandemic since March 2020 has prompted Innovaud to adapt its support for Vaud scale-ups. This year, the companies labeled in 2020 and 2021 have in fact been grouped together under the same label, to continue to benefit from the support offered by the program. Since March 2020, Scale Up Vaud, through Innovaud, has intensified the opportunities for exchanges and learning between its beneficiaries. Creating connections, mutual aid opportunities and peer encounters is especially important in times of crisis.
Financial aid for technology companies in the canton of Vaud has also been welcome for scale-ups. In total, Vaud authorities guaranteed loans for a total amount of 36 million Swiss francs to start-ups and scale-ups in the canton.
CHF 206.5 million in investments and a Swiss unicorn
Fundraising from Vaud scale-ups reached CHF 206.5 million in 2020: Kandou (36 million), Lunaphore (25 million), NetGuardians (17 million), Astrocast (9 million), Flyability (7 million), Olympe (2.5 million) and SOPHiA Genetics (110 million). On February 8, 2021, Nexthink announced a fundraising of 180 million. Nexthink is the new Swiss unicorn and the second Vaud scale-up valued at more than one billion francs, after MindMaze.
“The canton of Vaud was the first canton in Switzerland to grant financial aid to technology companies, startups and scale-ups. We are pleased to see that despite the difficulties caused by the pandemic, our companies continue to fight and achieve records in terms of fundraising. Nexthink, a Vaud-based leader in the digital sector, is proof that the innovation potential of our region, supported by our authorities through the Office for Economic Affairs and Innovation (SPEI) and Innovaud, is intact”, Raphaël Conz, Head of the Enterprise Unit at the Office for Economic Affairs and Innovation (SPEI).
In 2021, the new scale-ups are shaping a trend in the field of information and communication technologies and more specifically of artificial intelligence and machine learning. The leaders of these companies are delighted to join the Scale Up Vaud program and to receive targeted support during their growth phase: “We are truly excited to join the Scale Up Vaud group and we are convinced that it will significantly contribute to our growth and long-term success”, explains Alen Arslanagic, CEO of Visium.
The new scale-ups briefly
- Akselos (ICT) provides predictive structural digital twins for large asset’s integrity management. The company is working towards speeding up the mega scale deployment of offshore wind turbines by lowering the cost of energy, and making infrastructure more resilient, with condition-based monitoring and predictive maintenance at the center of their efforts.
- bNovate Technologies (Engineering) develops and commercializes industrial solutions to continuously and rapidly monitor bacteria to increase the safety of drinking water for consumers, optimize production processes, and reduce costs.
- Inait (AI/ICT) is the pioneer of Artificial Brain Intelligence (ABI), a new dimension in AI, built on combining breakthrough science and technology know-how to deliver solutions beyond the capabilities of today's AI. INAIT designs, develops, and deploys unique end-to-end ABI SaaS solutions.
- Iprova (AI/ICT) creates data-driven inventions for their clients using machine learning, natural language processing and proprietary technologies to augment and enhance the human ability to invent.
- Predictive Layer (AI/ICT) delivers automated Artificial Intelligence “Prediction as a Service” to large enterprises to optimize their operations, sales price and procurement.
- SwissBorg (Fintech) is democratizing wealth management by making it fun, fair, and community centric. SwissBorg holds a Virtual Currency License, which allows them to provide virtual currency exchange and virtual currency wallets internationally.
- Visium (AI) enables cutting-edge AI adoption for Swiss enterprise clients. They advise clients on the AI & Data Strategy, facilitate ideation workshops, handle data engineering, develop tailored machine learning solutions and much more.
Quick facts: Scale Up Vaud program 2021
- Today’s Scale Up Vaud label groups the companies from the years 2020 and 2021
- The program counts 34 companies: 27 in 2020, 7 new ones in 2021
- 117 new jobs have been created in Switzerland by the 34 scale-ups in 2020
- Companies aged from 4 to 22 years: scale-ups are not startups anymore, some can be considered SMEs
- The label’s entry criteria
About Scale Up Vaud
Created in 2016 by Innovaud, the Scale Up Vaud label aims to encourage and reinforce innovative companies in phase of high growth that are based in the Canton of Vaud. These firms can count on an adapted support during this specific life cycle in all high-tech domains. Scale Up Vaud serves as a catalyst of the canton’s economic and innovative strength. It can count on many partners such as platinn, Alliance, Switzerland Global Enterprise (S-GE) and the Canton of Vaud Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CVCI). www.scale-up-vaud.ch