Nest has established a partnership with the venture capital platform investiere.ch and is the first Swiss pension fund that will systematically invest in startups. With this move Nest wants to tap into the innovation and research strength of the Swiss economy, in addition to promoting entrepreneurial activities in Switzerland.
Also read the NZZ article (in German) and the coverage in Le Temps (in French).
Nest is the first Swiss pension fund that will invest in promising startups. In order to pursue this goal, Nest is relying on the expertise and experience of investiere.ch, the leading Swiss startup investment platform. With more than 50 financing rounds, investiere.ch is one of the leading startup investors in Switzerland. investiere.ch has one of the most experienced venture capital teams and consists of the largest network of business angels and industry experts in Switzerland. Following a professional assessment by the investiere.ch team, these business angels play a key role in the recently established partnership with Nest: their investment in a startup is a condition for Nest’s co-investment. Peter Beriger, Nest’s managing director, states:
“We are well aware of the fact that investments in startups entail certain risks. For this reason we are proud to have found a competent and reliable partner in investiere.ch. We appreciate the team’s careful selection of the startups and exceptionally constructive support of the portfolio companies. We are impressed by investiere.ch’s competence and the breadth of the team’s know-how which is now at our disposal.”
Thanks to this partnership, a new and previously untapped source of funding is now also available for startups in later development stages with capital needs of more than CHF 3 million. Currently such companies face great difficulty in finding capital.
In many countries there are public initiatives to promote venture capital investments. In Switzerland, the call for state intervention to promote venture capital investments—be it directly by the state or through an investment obligation for pension funds—is almost as old as the Swiss pension system itself. So far, such initiatives have failed politically. Nest has decided to invest in technology startups of its own accord. Felix Pfeiler, the president of the Nest foundation explains: “Nest expects these investments to become a solid pillar of our private equity investments in addition to strengthening innovation and the attractiveness of the Swiss economy.”
“In the US, successful pension funds invest about 5% of their assets under management in venture capital,” states investiere.ch CEO Steffen Wagner. “It’s time for Swiss pension funds to get involved with startups. Nest is leading the way.”
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