1:22 - Wanting to be a VC
5:08 - Investing in B2B SaaS
8:32 - Getting more Swiss VC money
15:42 - Making Switzerland more startup-friendly
20:28 - Where the Swiss ecosystem is going
Olivier Laplace has been a partner at the VC fund VI Partners since early 2022. He previously worked as head of corporate VC at Swiss Post and founded a company called Balumpa, which provided users a geo-localized social network. Throughout the years, his investor portfolio has included companies like TestingTime, Beekeeper and guuruu.
At VI partners Olivier mostly invests in B2B SaaS. His typical day as a VC includes:
- 2-3 phone calls with new potential companies
- 2-3 calls with potential co-investors
- A few random calls, like helping portfolio companies with day-to-day issues
A common complaint within the Swiss ecosystem is that there isn’t enough gross capital. Olivier thinks this should be solved in two ways:
- Swiss pension funds need to start investing in VC. There’s 1 trillion CHF in the Swiss pension fund system. Nowadays 1% of that (10B) goes into private equity, but very international private equity, and mostly into the buyouts.
- Building innovation in-house might not be the best way to do it anymore, so Swiss corporations need to buy out more startups. Despite popular perception, IPOs are very rare ends to the startup journey — it’s mostly tradesales.
"In 15 years of work experience, I changed careers about 5 times — these changes were always based on opportunities."
If you would like to listen to the first episode in our Startup Days co-production, check out our conversation with Laura Matter.
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