(Bloomberg) -- Venture capital firm Founderful, previously called Wingman Ventures, is raising $120 million for a new fund to target Swiss artificial intelligence and tech startups.
The firm has already raised $85 million and aims to make up the rest by July, it said in a statement on Tuesday. The fund was established in 2019 by Pascal Mathis, founder of unicorn GetYourGuide; Eat.ch co-founder Lukas Weder and Alex Stöckl, formerly of Creathor Ventures.
Founderful is betting that tech-startup valuations will increase as venture funding recovers from a slump. The fund made eight investments last year, including in several robotics startups, bringing the total number of companies it has backed to nearly 50.
“Switzerland is one of the world’s fastest-growing venture capital markets,” Stöckl said in a video interview. “In its own way, Founderful wants to replicate Silicon Valley in Switzerland.”
The fund’s backers include institutions, family offices and founders of companies such as Duolingo Inc., Delivery Hero SE, and Scandit AG. Its focus areas include robotics and industrial automation, AI and machine learning, computer vision technologies, and material sciences innovations.
Founderful’s current portfolio companies include survey drone maker Wingtra, sustainable computing upstart Corintis, alternative chipmaker Chiral Nano, robotics startups Ascento and Faive Robotics.
Switzerland’s universities and research institutions make it a hub for startups, Stöckl said. About two-thirds of Founderful’s portfolio companies are led by researchers-turned-founders from Swiss universities and institutions.
Venture capital investments into Swiss startups rose by 30% to almost 4 billion Swiss francs ($4.6 billion) in 2022. Switzerland’s density of unicorns is six times higher than in neighboring France, according to data compiled by startup data platform Dealroom.
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