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investiere.ch, a Swiss-based crowdfunding platform, has successfully closed a series B financing round, attracting CHF 3.5 million in total, which makes it the largest fintech investment in Switzerland so far this year, the website said in a statement over the weekend. It has attracted as a key minority shareholder Zurcher Kantonalbank (ZKB), a leading Swiss bank and investor in start-ups.
“With Zurcher Kantonalbank, we have acquired an ideal partner as an investor,” Steffen Wagner, co-founder and CEO of investiere.ch, said. “Zurcher Kantonalbank has repeatedly demonstrated its innovative strength and its expertise in the area of venture capital and has for many years shared our mission of providing professional financing for start-ups.”
The financing round was backed by existing shareholders and angels investors.
“We decided to invest in investiere.ch based on the team and technology behind the platform. The digitalisation of the venture capital market offers attractive growth potential and also creates opportunities for the further development of our own financing activities in areas such as SME financing,” said Martin Scholl, Zurcher Kantonalbank CEO.
investiere.ch intends to use the capital increase to further develop its investment platform with services and tools related to start-up financing and to drive the platform’s growth. It noted that it would retain full independence with regard to its business development, despite the bank having a significant minority share in it.
This is not the first financing round that the platform closes successfully. In mid-2011 it attracted more than $600,000 in financing from angel investors to ensure its own operations.
investiere.ch, launched in early 2010, is among the leading start-up investors in Switzerland with more than CHF 17.6 million in funding for start-ups in more than 40 financing rounds. The website is a project of Verve Capital Partners and has more than 9,000 members.
Zurcher Kantonalbank’s main activities include financing businesses, asset and wealth management, trading, capital market transactions, deposits, payment transactions and card business. The bank launched more than ten years ago Pioneer, a start-up finance initiative, through which it has invested more than CHF 100 million in start-ups.