Female Founders News #11 – March 2024

Text: Ritah Ayebare Nyakato
Featured Photo: Sabrina Schenardi, Co-Founder of BLP Digital

Female Founders News #11 – March 2024 - Sabrina Schenardi, Co-Founder of BLP Digital
With the annual International Women’s Day, we celebrate female founders’ achievements while drawing attention to the current state of the venture capital landscape and the ecosystem’s undertakings to promote female entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurs are driven by more than just the prospect of wealth: they also seek acknowledgement and validation from their customers, partners, investors, and the wider startup ecosystem. This recognition that they are on the right path to addressing the complex global challenges not only boosts their motivation but also empowers them to continue working on their solutions and grow their business further. Among other factors, securing adequate funding is a pivotal step in realizing these aspirations.

Investments in female-led ventures in 2023 reached an all-time high, with 37 startups with a female CEO raising a total amount of CHF 175 million. Despite this increase, funding in female-led startups remains below 10 percent. This could however change if the current investing momentum is maintained or even increased. VCs such as Backbone Ventures also continue to acknowledge the need to change the trajectory for female founders. The firm closed its 5502 Fund dedicated to investing in startups founded by migrants and underrepresented groups, including women entrepreneurs.

Various startups have also closed their financing rounds; Volumina Medical, led by Amélie Béduer to develop biomaterials in dermatology and plastic surgery, raised a CHF 21 million Series A round, the largest this month in a women-led startup. ETH spin-off and women-led startup rrreefs secured a CHF 420k seed round for coral reef regeneration; the vegan bakery chain Bakery Bakery engaged its community in a crowdfunding initiative to support its growth, raising CHF 1.4million and Spirecut (co-founded by Clemens Hermann), received an undisclosed amount in a Series A round to scale its non-invasive surgical instruments for hand surgery worldwide. The company’s customer base and distribution network across Europe is growing constantly.

Female Founders News #11 – March 2024 - rrreefs Team
Female Founders News #11 – March 2024 – rrreefs Team. Photo: Uli Kunz.

OBaris, with its painless drug delivery system, won the 3rd stage of Venture Kick, securing CHF 150K. The student-led venture capital firm, S2S Ventures, has invested in Sortiria Mostrou’s startup Biosimo, which develops bio-chemicals and ClimaLinks, co-founded by Annie Yuan-Yuan Chang, to transform weather data into actionable business insights. Additionally, EU grants propelled projects by sustainable packaging solutions provider reCircle and Terapet, the developer of a novel gamma-ray detection system for imaging in nuclear medicine.

Besides their ability to secure investments, female founders had demonstrated their company’s growth in different other ways, as reported on Startupticker in the past month.BLP Digital, co-founded by Sabrina Schnardi is making strides with its AI-based ERP automation solution for business processes from purchasing to payment. The company has grown to 50 employees that serve its 200 customers. Growth can also be achieved with acquisition, which is what the Locatee team, co-led by Myriam Locher, aspires for as part of the Tango family. The startup is a specialist in workplace analytics solutions. Easydivorce is also pursuing further growth through the acquisition of amiable, just as edtech pioneer Avallain did with the take-over of TeacherMatic, one of Europe’s fastest-growing generative AI toolsets for educators. For Oniva, the growth phase is just starting; following the success of their event management software solution that was used by large companies such as Axpo and SBB, Anna Fredholm and her team who fueled the idea’s success at Swisscom’s subsidiary Zoon, have created the spin-off Onvia to expedite the company’s growth.

In the biotech sector, business developments take a different trajectory with every milestone worthwhile celebrating. After assessing its novel chemical and biological properties including an attractive non-clinical safety and efficacy profile, the US FDA has granted Orphan Drug Status to iOnctura’s autotaxin inhibitor cambritaxestat for the treatment of pancreatic cancer, conferring certain benefits during the development and commercialization. Schlieren-based Oncobit signed a service agreement with U.K.-based biotech company Immunocore for better therapy response analysis in clinical trials, while Perivision with Serife Kucur Ergunay, co-founder and CTO in the team, has submitted the FDA registration for its first medical software product VisionOne, paving the way for its entry into the US.

Awards and recognition Recognizing the achievements and effort startups put into developing their solution is another key motivator for them to continue chasing their ambitions. During the last Start Summit conference, which united over 7000 participants from across the globe, Laura Stocco, co-founder of Openversum, the startup dedicated to providing access to clean drinking water to local communities and creating jobs, was announced the winner of the inaugural Swiss Sustainability Impact award, becoming the first company to receive this prize, the SEF.WomenAward 2024 went to Alissia Schrepfer, co-founder of WeNurse while IGERI’S founder and CEO Nathalie Berli made it to the winners’ podium of Rent Swiss 2024. Melanie Aregger and Ronja Müller-Bruhn, founders of Avelo und Stimit, respectively are among the finalists of the ZKB Pionierpreis Technopark, contesting for a cash prize of CHF 100’000. Yasemin Tahris, co-founder of HR-tech startup Flowit is hoping to win a prize at the SEF Award ceremony. Similarly, waiting for the top prize is Swistor’s CEO Clara Moldovan, who is among the selected companies for Tech4Regeneration.

Veröffentlicht am April 08, 2024

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