Financing opportunities for startups and SME

Your idea will take off - where do you find the fuel?

The financial possibilities of newly founded companies are often limited. Often, external financing can help. We give you an overview of the best financing possibilities shortly before and after the company foundation. Financing opportunities for startups and SME.
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What you need to know

The five most common financing methods in detail

A common way to finance your venture is with equity. In this case, an investor (a shareholder or proprietor) provides your start-up with assets, receiving a share of your company in return. The investor hereby becomes a co-proprietor in your start-up and gains certain rights to information and codetermination. However, he is not entitled to any company secrets.

Equity investments provide an investor with two kinds of advantages. He not only benefits from the distribution of dividends, but also from a rise in equity value. Whereas dividends lead to a direct cash flow, an increase in equity leads to a higher value of the share in the company. If the investor decides to sell his shares he will then make a profit.

The amount of an investment determines the liability of the investor as a “liability ceiling”. In case of bankruptcy, the investors can only access their investments after all other creditors have been disbursed. This can lead to a total loss of an investor’s equity.

For start-ups, the most common source for investments are the 3 F’s: Friends, Family and Fools. In most cases, friends and family are the first investors of young startups. They have the advantage of knowing the capability of the young entrepreneur and assessing the risks of their investment.

Another way to finance your start-up is with liabilities. These are mostly provided by banks, but also by private individuals. These outside creditors have a claim against your company amounting to the sum of their loan, but do not have the same rights as an equity investor. However, a loan agreement can include certain securities that provide the creditor with leverage in case of payment difficulties. The agreement can also include duties to provide information to the creditor.

The outside creditor is entitled to an interest on his loan. Furthermore, the redemption can occur over the term of the loan or at the end.

Start-ups tend to have trouble getting loans from banks. This is mainly because the future development of the start-up is unsure and banks assume illiquidity, but also because barely any assets can be posted as collateral.

Business Angels help startups in their early stages to raise equity. As mentioned before, their equity comes in exchange for a share in the company. But in most cases it is more than financial assistance that they offer, as Business Angels offer valuable know-how and consultation.

In most cases, Business Angels are successful entrepreneurs that have sold their company and are looking to invest in new startups. They therefore tend to take an active role in the development and assistance of the startups they invest in.

Venture Capitalists (VC) are very similar to Business Angels. The main difference is that VCs are firms or fund companies, rather that individuals. They offer intensive coaching in the following phases after their investment. Venture Capitalists look for their investments in a certain pattern, focusing mainly on tech and web-based startups.

BackBone Ventures

BackBone Ventures PLC
Bellerivestrasse 2
8008 Zurich

Tel. +41 (0) 44 500 23 81
more information

BackBone Ventures supports companies in the seed, startup and growth phase not only with capital, but also with network, know-how and as a sparring partner. This enables faster growth, a more sophisticated product, more efficient sales - in short, BackBones increases the probability of success.

BackBone Ventures stands for the goal-oriented, profitable and sustainable support of promising startups through network, capital and expertise. Their aim is to find the most interesting deals in the market and to contribute value to them.

If your startup meets the requirements listed below, you can contact BackBone Ventures directly:

  • Industry: ICT and disruptive technologies - the startup has the potential to move markets.
  • Phase: Proof of Concept - there is more than just an idea.
  • Team: The team is motivated to create great things and is ready to accept support in all areas.

Another way of raising capital is by attending start-up competitions. In most competitions you can win seed capital without having to give away a share of your company. This prize money can amount to a very large sum at big competitions. Your startup is mostly assessed by a panel of experts and compared with the competitors. Hereby your success depends on a thorough presentation and a good business idea.

This website has a good overview of all the startup competitions that are coming up:


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