Launched in 2018 bestsmile is a Swiss dental start-up specializing in clear aligner therapy. Due to modern 3D print technology and direct contact with customers bestsmile is able to provide cost-efficient therapies for tooth correction. The team of dentists consults patients in a comfortable setting at the Smile-Shops directly to develop a personalized treatment plan, allowing them to reach a beautiful smile within a few months' time. bestsmile is currently rolling out more shops in different regions of Switzerland, bringing the service to even more people throughout the country.
Finly allowed small to medium sized companies access to cash tied up in their yet-to-be-paid invoices. But, rather than operating a peer-to-peer lending marketplace, Finly did the factoring.We started Finly because we realized traditional methods of finance are out of sync with what today’s SMEs need. We saw the opportunity to help SMEs get access to the cash they need to fuel their business. We wanted to be seen as a new kind of cash flow utility – where Finly was simply there in the background for businesses to access the money in their unpaid invoices when they needed it. We have decided to stop this venture and not pursue it further at this stage. This is partly due to the current economic situation but also because it is difficult to assess the demand and need for Finly's services in the context of Covid-19.
FROZEDOSE° was a venture project, where we tested the delivery of portioned, frozen smoothies directly to customers for mixing them freshly at home via a subscription model. After a three-months pilot phase, the e-commerce model with mail delivery in Germany was stopped. One of the reasons for this was that the demand for the subscription model was below our expectations. Thus, Frozedose lost its justification as a Venture in our portfolio because the business model showed too little potential in terms of acquiring loyal, recurring customers during the pilot phase. Yet, the product itself, the frozen smoothies, was very well received by the end customers in terms of taste. True product innovation and therefore we are currently looking for the best owner for this product.
Kindish was a venture project, where we tested the delivery of frozen, healthy kids’ meal options directly to families that can easily be prepared at home via a subscription model. After a three-months pilot phase, the e-commerce model with express mail delivery in Germany was stopped. We were not able to validate some of the core hypotheses for Kindish during the test phase needed to justify it as a Venture in our portfolio. Some of the reasons include that families wished for a different format to buy the product and thus the business model itself showed too little potential in terms of acquiring loyal, recurring customers online. Yet elements such as the taste of the meals and the sustainable packaging have been very well perceived by customers and we generated overall a lot of knowledge that will be shared and used for the development of future business models in this area.
MIACAR was an online supermarket and last-mile delivery service. We delivered groceries free of charge for a minimum order value of only 25 francs and within a dedicated time slot of 20 minutes. The range of the assortment included a wide selection of the most popular products, which customers were able to order for the same prices as in the stores via the MIACAR app. The purchases were delivered personally and with MIACAR's own electric vans and drivers. It is the first venture which was built and carved-out by Sparrow Ventures. In November 2020 it was merged with MyMigros, an online grocery effort by Migros Aare, for the next growth phase.
The quality of the dog’s food can have a huge impact on the canine’s health. Governed by only a few regulations, some ingredients that go into making commercial dog food are not only unhealthy but can even impact health. We started MyBuddyBox with the vision to make a positive impact on the quality of a dog’s life and delivered fresh, nutritious and healthy dog meals straight to the doorstep. The meals consisted of food-grade ingredients that were gently cooked based on nutritionist-crafted recipes and tailored to the dog’s individual nutritional needs. We have decided to stop this venture and not pursue it further at this stage. One of the reasons includes that the profitability of the subscription model was not stable enough in the context of the current economic situation (Covid-19).
Olly is an app that helps Swiss people to find out the causes of their health problems. To do this, the app asks specific questions related to the symptoms to identify a possible cause of the health problem and suggests possible steps to take next. Powered by artificial intelligence (AI), the technology behind Olly uses an algorithm to access a database of medical knowledge of thousands of diseases and symptoms. The Symptom analysis via app enables the user to gain insight into their own health and is completely free of charge. Don't search for your symptoms, but understand them with Olly.
Petcare was a venture project, where we tested a portal where pet owners were able to get access to experienced veterinarians remotely and get clarity over the next appropriate steps immediately. After a three-month pilot phase, the business model to make veterinary care more accessible via video appointments at any time, aiming to reduce the stress for both owner and pet that is often associated with a visit to the practice, was stopped. We were not able to validate some of the core hypotheses for the subscription-based telemedicine service of Petcare during the test phase needed to justify it as a Venture in our portfolio. Some of the reasons include that due to use cases, which were limited to emergencies and consultation outside opening hours, pet owners preferred one-off video consultation. As a result, the business model itself showed too little potential in terms of frequency of use and acquiring a recurring customer base. Knowledge generated during this test phase will be shared and used for the development of future business models in this field of operations.
The developed venture, including the website, was sold to the best owner outside the Migros group.
With Quit4Good we tested a novel way to help smokers quit smoking through offering the first digital, all-round smoking cessation service for companies and their employees in Switzerland. Controlled by app and guided by behaviour change for long-term and sustainable success, the programme was based on a holistic approach that included in-app coaching, nicotine replacement therapy (NET) and CO breathalyser. While initial results showed a higher success rate than existing approaches, we decided to stop this personal digital assistant and motivator solution to finally become smoke-free after a three months pilot phase and not pursue it further at this stage. One of the reasons includes that companies in the current context of Covid-19 put emphasis on other topics when it comes to employee benefits.
Ready-4-Cooking offers with meal kits a practical replacement for the effort that is typically required for cooking. Based on our developed recipes, each meal kit contains fresh ingredients and a step-by-step cooking guide. The products are pre-cut, marinated and pre-portioned for two portions. Each meal is freshly prepared within minutes and ready to eat on the table. Quick, easy and healthy.
During the pilot phase available in selected Migros supermarkets in Zurich city.
Snäx is the smart fridge that offers employees a diverse and affordable range of meals right at their office - and that for every kind of foodie and their dietary preferences. Customers can purchase and rate the freshly prepared hot and cold dishes, snacks and beverages directly within the Snäx app. Snäx currently caters to offices in the Zurich area and is on a mission to roll-out its service throughout Switzerland. Over the coming years, Snäx will position itself as a leading office food supplier. Snäx is the second venture that was carved-out as an independent start-up from Sparrow Ventures.
VIU, founded in 2013 in Switzerland, is a direct to consumer eyewear brand that is revolutionizing the optical industry. At its core, it stands for premium eyewear at accessible prices. Designed in Zurich and handmade with high-quality materials in Italy and Japan, every pair of glasses combines timeless aesthetics and innovative technology, resulting in personalized eyewear with a perfect fit. VIU seamlessly combines online and offline channels to offer holistic customer experiences and is currently strengthening its position as the number one D2C eyewear brand in Europe.
WePractice is a flexible Co-working Community, which offers psychotherapists and coaches access to modern practice rooms on an hourly basis and supports them in the acquisition of new clients. In this way, WePractice facilitates the personal and professional exchange amongst therapists and provides an environment to not just work but also network with each other. Linked with a digital platform, WePractice enables clients to find the right practitioner for them and creates an ecosystem in which psychotherapists and their clients can focus on what is important to them - improving mental wellbeing.
Dec’20 - The recent practice opening from bestsmile in Neuchâtel brings the number of locations to 33, where the Swiss start-up provides dental correction at a cost-efficient price point to its customers.
Oct’20 - After several months of hard work and devotion, Snäx recently released it's high-tech fridge that makes the experience for employees, to access a range of fresh daily meals and snacks at fair prices in their office, more seamless. Find out more below and get in touch with the team to discuss options for your company.
Jul’20 - Venture News: You are not feeling well? Olly will check it for you! We recently started the pilot phase for Olly Health, a symptom checker app for everyone in Switzerland. Co-developed by health experts, Olly eliminates the need to search for possible diseases online and analyses health-related symptoms in a few steps.