Financial technology innovation in Luxembourg has accelerated rapidly since the turn of the millennium. This growth in the use of new technologies applied to finance has been led both by players in the sector who have been established in the Grand Duchy for decades, and by new international players who have established themselves in the country in recent years to offer innovative services and generate more efficient models for the industry.
One good example in this regard is Luxembourg’s emergence as a centre for international cross-border payments. Since Paypal obtained its banking license in 2007, many other leading payments firms have chosen Luxembourg to be their EU hub. So much so that the Emerging Payments Association established its European base in Luxembourg in March 2020 to support the local and international payments sector on its unstoppable growth path.
The Grand Duchy offers companies in this sector an excellent regulatory framework, a developing Fintech ecosystem as well as a last generation IT infrastructure.
A significant number of Fintech companies in Luxembourg focus on serving the regulatory and compliance needs of global finance: ranging from KYC and fraud detection, data management, to fund reporting and investor information tools, as well as digital investment services and online platform provision for financial services. This is complemented by an array of Fintechs, many in the B2B space covering other sectors, such as asset management, tokenisation and capital markets technology, InsurTech and more.
In Luxembourg, The Luxembourg House of Fintech (LHoFT) is the main local body focused on the promotion and development of Fintech startups.
Besides the LHoFT, Luxembourg is home to a number of incubators and accelerators, which help to ensure that the country stays at the vanguard of the latest technology developments in the field. They include:
- The University of Luxembourg operates its own incubator on its Belval campus in support of its entrepreneurship programme for students.
- The House of Entrepreneurship is Luxembourg’s one-stop shop for company creation, providing assistance with business permits, tax& legal issues, as well as public funding.
- The Luxembourg House of Start-ups (HoST), a start-up hub located in the centre of Luxembourg City, offers comprehensive support for new entrepreneurs
- Technoport is an incubator that offers support programs for international entrepreneurs with technology-based and innovative projects.
In addition, the country offers other incubators and acceleration programs promoted by the private sector.
Recently, the Luxembourg government launched the Startupluxembourg.com, platform to facilitate access to information for international entrepreneurs interested in setting up an innovative project from Luxembourg. This project aims to act as a coordination point for the different actors, projects and initiatives that Luxembourg is developing to support startups.
To promote innovation in the sector, Luxembourg offers a wide range of programs and activities focused on mentoring and access to financing for Fintechs. This section lists some of them, all open to the participation of international companies. These initiatives provide the ideal framework to get in depth into the Luxembourg Fintech ecosystem and identify international business and development opportunities.
On the other hand, the country offers a favorable context for attracting global talent due to its multiculturalism and quality of life. More than 170 nationalities coexist in Luxembourg, and its citizens speak an average of 3.6 languages. Its position as one of the most important financial centers in Europe gives companies in the sector access to a network of highly qualified professionals in the field of finance.
The Luxembourg House of Fintech (LHoFT) is a public-private partnership, which brings together financial institutions, Fintech innovators, research and academia, as well as public sector authorities to help drive forward innovation and the development of solutions to meet specific industry needs. It acts moreover as a soft-landing platform for Fintech companies from abroad wanting to access the local financial sector and market their solutions across the EU.
LHoFT aims to extend the ecosystem worldwide by linking up with other leading Fintech hubs around the world and by bringing together and collaborating with domestic and international stakeholders on industry-wide projects, working groups and initiatives.
CATAPULT: Fintech Development is a series of Fintech development programs produced by the LHoFT Foundation in partnerchip with key strategic partners.
CATAPULT: Inclusion Africa
The program addresses companies focused on promoting financial inclusion in Africa. The initiative aims to build bridges between Africa and Europe, and is closely aligned with the sustainability objectives of the Luxembourg financial center. Inclusive Finance Network (InFiNe.lu) provides the framework and funding for an annual “European Microfinance Award”, with a prize of EUR 100,000 for the best inclusive financial solutions with a technology element.
This is a Fintech accelerator program for Fintechs at an early stage of development. Participants receive guidance on how to develop their business, identify and manage risk, and have practical elements for customer acquisition and prospecting. Participants have the opportunity to meet and learn from leading industry professionals, investors and key stakeholders in the fintech ecosystem. At the end of the program, entrepreneurs have the opportunity to present their project to a high-level jury and receive a €50,000 funding.
The program was launched in 2015 by the Luxembourg Ministry of Economy, and is managed by Luxinnovation with the support of Technoport and Luxembourg-City Incubator. Fit4Start has become the leading program for launching and accelerating startups in Luxembourg.
It offers a 16-week mentoring service on the methodology of launching a startup, free access to a workspace in an incubator, as well as EUR 50,000 in funding. For those companies that successfully pass the program, the Ministry of Economy grants an additional EUR 100,000 on the condition that a financing round of EUR 50,000 is secured.
Startups interested in applying to participate in the program must meet the following requirements:
have an innovation-oriented project ;
have a company which is younger than 5 years ;
be a team of 2 people minimum (no nationality constraint), at least one of whom will need to be dedicated full time when participating to Fit 4 Start.
More information on upcoming calls: https://www.startupluxembourg.com/fit-4-start
ICT Spring is a technology congress with an international dimension that is organized annually in the city of Luxembourg. This high-level event offers international professionals an excellent opportunity to discuss current issues affecting the Fintech industry and gain insight into the impact of space technology on businesses, mainly through exhibitions and demonstrations of the latest trends in technology and innovation. ICT Spring Europe offers the right framework to establish professional contacts and identify business opportunities.
This year it will take place on September 14 and 15, and the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg acts as a local partner for all those Spanish startups interested in participating. Contact the Chamber for more information: email@example.com
More information about the event and participation options: https://www.ictspring.com