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Swiss fintech sector with strong growth in sustainability

The Swiss fintech sector continued to grow last year. Never before have there been so many active companies. Growth was particularly strong among companies with a focus on sustainability. However, there are also signs of a cooling trend.

At the end of 2023, there were 483 fintech companies in Switzerland - more than ever before. According to the iinTech study published by Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts on Thursday, this is around 11% more than in the previous year. This means that the size of the sector has tripled since 2015. Liechtenstein was also included in the study for the first time: 22 FinTech companies are based in the Principality.

Focus on sustainability

Fintech companies with a strategic focus on sustainability saw particularly strong growth last year (+23%). According to the study, they account for around 10% of all Swiss fintech companies.

Investors' interest in sustainable investment opportunities is high, according to study director Thomas Ankenbrand. The banks' obligation to ask private investors about their sustainability preferences is also encouraging this growth.

Cooling tendencies

However, there are also signs of a cooling trend. Switzerland is facing more competition, says Ankenbrand. Stockholm has overtaken Zurich and Geneva in the ranking of the most attractive locations for fintech companies, knocking them out of second and third place.

However, the third and fourth place rankings show that the general conditions for fintech in Switzerland remain good, says the head of the study. However, leading international fintech locations such as Amsterdam have caught up.

The first representatives from the USA are New York and San Francisco in 6th and 7th place. The first German city is Berlin in 10th place, with Singapore continuing to lead the list by a large margin.

In addition, the financing of fintech companies decreased in 2023, both in terms of volume and the number of transactions. In the previous year, a total of CHF 457 million flowed into the Swiss fintech sector in 68 financing rounds.

In 2022, according to the study, this figure was still CHF 605 million in 84 financing rounds. Whether this decline is a structural slowdown or driven by a temporary interest rate effect cannot be said at present.

Great potential for the fintech sector

Fintech has developed from a niche market into a significant innovation provider for traditional financial service providers. However, the potential has not yet been exhausted, says Ankenbrand.

There is great potential for the financial sector in the area of artificial intelligence. Dynamic adaptation to new technological developments would benefit Switzerland as a business location and the local fintech sector.

The Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts publishes the iinTech study annually. This is the ninth edition and was produced with the support of e.foresight, Finnova, Inventx, SIX, Swiss Bankers Prepaid Services, Swiss Fintech Innovations and Zürcher Kantonalbank.

©Keystone/SDA

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