"External" money from banks, investors or friends is also part of equity, insofar as it is venture capital or share capital whose return will depend on the company’s performance, contrary to a loan.
Unlike most large and medium-sized financial institutions, cantonal banks, in particular the Zurich Cantonal Bank (ZKB), finance not only external funds but also equity. As part of its Pionier initiative, BCZ invests approximately CHF 15 million each year in start-ups in their seed phases ("Seed" and "Series A"). Since 2005, it has supported more than 200 companies with venture capital. In doing so, the bank collaborates with third-party investors (business angels, venture capital companies).
Since June 2010, Credit Suisse has returned to the venture capital sector with “SVC SA – Risk Capital for SMEs”. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of CS that cooperates with Swiss Venture Club (SVC). In total, CHF 100 million is available for start-ups, projects encouraging the use of existing SMEs and for the settlement of business successions via management buy-outs or buy-ins. The commitments (also for start-ups active in management/board of directors) are spread over four to seven years.