The Swiss entrepreneur convinced the jury of his commitment as a network creator in the field of fintech and as a business angel in Swiss scale-ups (startups in the rapid growth phase).
SECA (Swiss Private Equity & Corporate Finance Association) named Gian Reto the Porta 20th Business Angel of the year. The Swiss fintech entrepreneur won the jury on his commitment as a fintech network builder and business angel to Swiss scale-ups (startups in the rapid growth phase).
Since selling his fintech startup Contovista in 2017, he has been actively investing in the early stages of startups. Through his experience, he knows how important it is, in this early stage of a startup, to have entrepreneurial experiences as investors. In fact, aside from the money invested, it’s equally important for startups to have an interlocutor who is as uncomplicated and honest as possible, helping them successfully establish their business – at this point Gian now focuses Reto sa Porta: “Everyone is talking about smart money. But I’m not only looking to bring smart money to a company, but also honest, supportive and exciting money”.
Investments in Swiss startups and venture capital funds residing in Switzerland
Over the past four years, he has invested in 16 start-ups, ten of which are Swiss. In addition, there are investments in six venture capital funds, three of which are based in Switzerland. These developments clearly show how the Swiss start-up ecosystem will benefit from the successful exit. This is also the opinion of the founders of startups in his portfolio:
Philippe Sahli, Founder and CEO of Yokoy: “Gian saw the potential of our team early on and as an investor he always considered the interests of the founders.”
As a scale-up, startup Yokoy, founded in 2019, has earned its reputation in the Swiss startup scene, as the last round of financing of 80 million francs was conducted in 2022 with Sequoia as an investor. Principal, a world- renowned venture capitalist based in Silicon Valley.
Lav Odorovic, co-founder and CEO of Relio: “I am looking for a seasoned entrepreneur with banking experience for our board. We quickly understood that Gian’s commitment was important, perhaps because the entrepreneurial spirit and banking experience rarely combine as well with his. ”
Kevin Smith, Founder and CEO of Snipd: “I had my first startup experience with Gian – he was my boss and my mentor. Later, Gian invested in my startup and supported me. This is how you want to create a successful startup ecosystem: Rein-vest in the ecosystem. ”
The active participation of business angels like Gian Reto in Porta makes creating a start-up in Switzerland attractive.
20 years of Business Angel of the Year
For two decades now, SECA has been honoring exceptional business angels for their commitment and performance as business angels. Previous winners include Cornelia Gut-Villa, director of the Startfeld foundation, Dieter Meier, Yello business manager, Daniel Borel, Logitech founder, Joachim Schoss, founder of the scout24 group, or professor Cuno Pümpin from the University of St. Gallen.
45 unicorns worth more than 1 billion francs in Switzerland
As recently published by SICTIC, the largest business angel club in Switzerland, a total of 45 startups have achieved a valuation of more than 1 billion francs over the past 12 years, earning them the title “unicorn”/unicorn. Venture capitalists are particularly interested in this. Prior to SICIC, however, international databases listed only six Swiss unicorns, because unlike the United States, people seemed reluctant to talk publicly about financial success. Switzerland will soon be spawning more successful scale-ups with unicorn potential. But for this, you need another private person with experience in the field of entrepreneurship, who provides initial financing as a business angel.