VI Partners' team came together in 2001 to advise Venture Incubator AG (VI). VI Partners is an investment vehicle founded in 2000 by ETHZ, McKinsey, and ten blue-chip Swiss companies, with the mission to stimulate entrepreneurship and foster the VC industry in Switzerland.
Over the last two decades, VI Partners arranged 57 investments. About two-thirds of these investments were made in ventures which originated as spin-offs: ETH Zurich, EPF Lausanne and other Swiss universities. More than half of these investments were made at the seed stage of the companies.
Among the first portfolio companies in 2002 was Ganymed (sold to ATS), Esbatech (sold to Alcon/Novartis), and Kuros (IPO at SWX). Ganymed was the first company of Özlem Türeci and Ugur Sahin who later founded BioNTech. Later investments included Endoart, Endosense, Neocutis, Activaero, Nexthink, Amal, and SumUp. Several companies supported by VI Partners reached billion-dollar valuations and attracted funding from top global venture firms.
VI Partners' shareholders consider the initial mission accomplished: thousands of high-value jobs have been created and 26 exits realised. Moreover, as part of their work, VI Partners’ founding members were actively engaged in building what has become today’s vibrant Swiss VC ecosystem. They have been involved as jury and board members of most of the national organisations supporting start-up entrepreneurs.
Today, VI Partners is one of the best-known VC firms in Switzerland and advises funds investing in ventures across Europe.