1:07 - The fundraising momentum in Switzerland
3:25 - Setbacks in Swiss investing today
11:53 - Going beyond the pitch
15:43 - How to approach investors
27:38 - An overview of Swiss brokers
Lukas Reinhardt is the head of UBS' Growth Advisory, the leading partner for fast-growing Swiss companies, such as On Running, VIU Eyewear and farmy.ch. He first joined UBS in 2006 as a Graduate Trainee and since then worked in different M&A and Corporate Finance positions for UBS in Zurich and New York.
In 2020 over $2bn were invested in Swiss startups and scaleups, so it's never been more relevant to discuss the intricacies of fundraising in Switzerland.
Some main fundraising challenges are:
- Being ready: knowing what your most recent milestones were, having your documentation in order, gaining some pitching experience;
- Access to investors: this can be tricky, especially if you don't make a habit of proactively networking with them;
- The Valley of Death: seed stage money can be relatively easy to acquire, but growth stage money not so much (since the amount needed is bigger).
How to approach potential investors:
- The best possible option is already knowing one — this requires constant networking on your part;
- The second best thing is to get a warm introduction;
- A pitching event can be a good platform, but one-on-one conversations are usually more fruitful, because you can tailor your pitch to a specific investor and build trust more quickly;
- If all else fails, there's always cold emailing/calling.
After the initial contact:
- Send a one-pager/teaser document quickly summarizing the investment case;
- In case of a positive reaction, send them a pitch deck.
Why you might want to work with a broker:
- It frees up resources: fundraising is not something you can just do on the side, but you also don't want to let it steal time away from operational tasks;
- Brokers have transaction expertise and know-how which you yourself might not possess;
- Brokers have easier access to investors;
- The good reputation of a broker can elevate your own reputation within the market.
But naturally, brokers charge fees, and demand a certain exclusivity.
"Fundraising is not just something you can do on the side, but at the same time, you can't dedicate all your time to it and neglect operational tasks. That's why you should outsource it to an advisor."
If you would like to listen to more episodes related to UBS, check out our conversation with Verena Kaiser.
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