Swiss company Wingman Ventures becomes Founderful and targets a $120 million fund


Wingman Ventures seeks out the best in Swiss startups and its diverse portfolio already spans from mobile commerce to robotics. The Zurich-based venture capital firm, which focuses on pre-seed startups, today announced its name change to Founder and has already raised $85 million for its new Fund II, with a closing target of $120 million in the coming months.

Backers of the fund include institutional investors, family offices and founders of unicorns like Duolingo, Climeworks, GetYourGuide, Delivery Hero and Scandit. So far, the company has had two exits: Insightness, a vision chip startup acquired by Sony, and Bring! Labs, a mobile commerce startup acquired by Swiss Post. There are two more releases in Founderful’s pipeline, both in the B2B software space, which are expected to be in the double-digit millions.

Founding partner Alex Stöckl told TechCrunch that when Founderful finished raising its first $90 million fund in 2020, it was the first dedicated independent venture capital firm in Switzerland, investing only at pre-stage. -priming.

“With this, overnight, we disrupted legacy business angels, accelerator and incubator programs and family offices that would offer founders unfavorable terms, cause early excessive dilution and dampen ambition levels to meet their conservative risk-return ratio. profiles,” he says.

Founderful was launched in 2019 by Pascal Mathis, co-founder of GetYourGuide, a local travel marketplace which reached unicorn status in 2023and Lukas Weder, co-founder of

Over the past four years, Founderful has made nearly 50 investments, including eight Swiss investments in 2023. Its Fund I has invested $60 million in 40 startups, bringing together 109 founders who have created 1,093 jobs. In total, Fund I’s portfolio has raised more than $350 million in additional funds over three years.

The typical Fund II check amount will be $1 million for pre-seed startups and up to $2 million for seed-stage startups.

Founderful seeks out startups in the B2B software and industrial space space and invests in their seed rounds. Its portfolio includes companies in industries such as robotics and industrial automation, artificial intelligence and machine learning, computer vision technologies, and material sciences such as clean technology, climate technology, and climate technology. construction.

Many of the founders in its portfolio come from universities and research institutes like ETH Zurich, via the Founderful Campus program. Around two thirds of its entrepreneurs are graduates, doctors or researchers from top Swiss academic institutions and a third are former founders or employees of successful startups.

Founderful has already started investing capital from Fund II, including alternative silicon chip maker Chiral Nano, ESG reporting platform Nala Earth and security robotics startup. Ascentrobotics manufacturing company Saekiprofessional skills platform Anthropos, bimolecular analytics company Isospec Analytics, lithium-ion battery developer Eightinks and humanoid robotics creator Faive Robotics.

Some of Founderful’s other portfolio companies include a survey drone startup Wingtrawith an annual turnover of more than 20 million dollars, plastic recycling company DéPoly and Corintis, focused on sustainable computing, sustainable computing that works with tech giants like Microsoft, Google and Nvidia.

Stöckl says Founderful benefits startups because it invests again and again in the country at the same stage and has optimized its support functions and processes “like a Swiss clock, pun intended.” Because it has the same accounting standards, service providers and talent pool, it is able to standardize the added value it brings to founders and their companies, helping them lead the market. Founderful also connects the Swiss ecosystem and the international venture capital community, introducing founding teams to next round investors.

Going forward, Stöckl says Founderful will continue to double “its presence in Switzerland, investing in the 10 most ambitious founding teams every year as lead investor for their first round of financing.”

In a quote explaining why he joined Founderful’s Fund II as a limited partner, Duolingo CTO and co-founder Severin Hacker said: “In building Duolingo, I have seen my own share of venture capital firms and it is rare to collaborate with an investor. who are as meticulous and relentless in creating value for the founders they have backed as the team at Founderful.


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