New Success for Swiss Startup and Venture Capital Pioneer
Venture Incubator, the fund managed by the leading Swiss venture capital firm VI Partners (VIP), successfully sold two participations: Nexthink, that develops and markets desktop monitoring solutions to improve Digital Employee Experience, and AMAL, a pre-clinical stage Swiss biotech company, developing unique therapeutic vaccines. VI Partners obtains proceeds up to CHF 105 million and announces a new fund in fall 2019.
Altendorf, July 16th 2019 – VI Partners’ mission is to support promising early-stage healthcare and technology startups in Switzerland with a historical focus on university spin-offs. Since 2001, Venture Incubator has invested CHF 202 million in 48 companies. 28 companies were sold for a total consideration of CHF 240 million. The investments in the portfolio companies created over 1,500 highly qualified jobs in Switzerland alone.
This success story gets to another impressive chapter: During the last two months, VI Partners managed to successfully sell two participations:
Nexthink: The shares owned by Venture Incubator were acquired in June 2019 in a secondary transaction by existing investors in the company.
AMAL: The entire company was acquired by research-driven pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim for up to € 420 million in July 2019.
With the sales and transfers of the two companies, the fund realizes proceeds of up to CHF 105 million, depending on achievement of certain milestones. These results and developments demonstrate the commitment that Venture Incubator and VI Partners have to create meaningful companies in Switzerland.
Nexthink: 460 employees and 1,000 customers worldwide
Nexthink was launched as a result of a research project conducted at the prestigious Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) by Pedro Bados, Patrick Herzog and Vincent Bieri. The company has become the worldwide leader in the monitoring of employee experience for enterprises. Venture Incubator was the first institutional investor and the fund has been an active shareholder since the in initial investment. Today, Nexthink serves 1,000 customers worldwide (reaching over 7 million users), is growing 80% per annum and has attracted $130 million in financing.
Pedro Bados, co- founder and CEO of Nexthink, says: “It’s been a great experience with Alain and VI Partners who have supported Nexthink from the early stage until becoming a world-wide company. I would highly recommend any entrepreneur in Switzerland to consider them for their next venture.”
Alain Nicod, Managing Partner of VI Partners, says: «I am thankful to Pedro Bados, Patrick Herzog and Vincent Bieri that they have welcomed us as their first institutional investor in their newly born Nexthink SA. The road from the 5-person team I met then, to today’s business with 460 employees serving more than 7 million devices connected to their service, was incredibly exciting. I am particularly proud of having contributed to support the company’s growth not only with the initial money, but also with contacts, prospective customers, ideas, key management members and investors.»
AMAL: A unique technology platform to treat life-threatening diseases
AMAL was founded by Madiha Derouazi in 2012 as a spin-off from the University of Geneva, Switzerland. The start-up got financial backing from a syndicate of both corporate and institutional investors. AMAL’s proprietary technology platform KISIMA enables the assembly of three functional components into one patented fusion protein used as a vaccine: First, a proprietary cell-penetrating peptide for antigen delivery; second, a proprietary toll-like receptor (TLR) peptide agonist as an adjuvant; and third, a multi-antigenic cargo that can be tailored for specific tumors and other indications.
Madiha Derouazi, founder and CEO of AMAL, says: «I would like to warmly and sincerely thank VI Partners for their support to AMAL since our Series A investment back in March 2016. Their trust and commitment to AMAL as well as Diego Braguglia’s personal dedication and involvement have been instrumental to AMAL’s success all along our journey which ends with this fantastic transaction.”
Diego Braguglia, Managing Partner of VI Partners, comments: «I have rarely seen a company operating as cash efficient as AMAL. Madiha and her team can look back on an incredible journey, from bench to patient’s bed sides in an unbelievably short period of time. I am deeply grateful to have been able to be part of this team and contribute along with the Venture Incubator investment to help and support patients suffering from life-threatening diseases.»
New fund for VI Partners in fall 2019
VIP plans for a new fund in Fall 2019 to increase its firing power. This fund will primarily invest in Switzerland and early-stage companies. It will keep some reserves to pursue opportunities abroad, brought by the extensive network the partners of VIP have built over the last 20 years.
About VI Partners
VI Partners is the leading Swiss venture capital firm, providing promising healthcare and technology startup companies with capital, coaching and network access. Alain Nicod, Arnd Kaltofen, Daniel Gutenberg and Diego Braguglia are the four investment partners. Venture Incubator (VI) is a unique evergreen fund, created in 2000 by McKinsey & Company and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich (ETHZ). The CHF 101 million fund comes from 10 big corporates (ABB, Nestle, Novartis, Schindler, Hilti, Sulzer, Bühler, Suva, Zürcher Kantonalbank, Credit Suisse). Since its beginnings, VI Partners has invested in 48 startups in Switzerland, 28 of which were sold. Sales proceeds are reinvested in new companies.
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