Top 10 Moments of 2017 for Luxembourg’s Fintech Ecosystem

2017 has been a monumental year for the financial services industry in Luxembourg. A country that was already a power base for Europe’s finance industry, now embracing and supporting innovation at all levels. The goal to become a leader in Fintech, and to create an ecosystem more connected and collaborative than any other.

As we look forward to new year, bringing fresh opportunities, let’s look back over a few key moments that made 2017 so exciting:


1. LHoFT Foundation Opening


Back in April we celebrated the beginning of our journey with the opening of the Luxembourg House of Financial Technology. We were joined by all of our partners and members from different areas of Luxembourg’s finance industry, and we had the privilege to welcome H.E. Pierre Gramegna, Minister of Finance. It was an event that would signal much of the year to come: keen collaboration across the whole ecosystem.

“The LHoFT will play a key role for thedevelopment of Fintech in Luxembourg and the digital transition of our financial sector. The LHoFT will furtherreinforce Luxembourg’s attractiveness, particularly for start-ups. I am convinced that it will create a new dynamic, actively contributing to the diversification of the Luxembourg economy.”— H.E. Pierre Gramegna, Minister of Finance


2. Money 20/20 — “We Love Lux”


Money 20/20, in June, was the LHoFT’s first opportunity to promote Luxembourg’s new financial technology hub, together with Luxembourg for Finance — and we went all out. If you saw people running around the conference sporting blue ‘I Love Lux’ glasses, that was our doing. The conference also saw LHoFT signing a Memorandum of Understanding with Singapore’s LATTICE80, promising future collaboration between the two hubs.

You can read our highlights from the conference here, including a few interesting startups we came across, and some of the best speakers.

“Through this very special partnership with the LHoFT, we are pleased to be able to offer our incredible fintech startups in Singapore a way into Europe. The fintech ecosystems in both regions stand to benefit tremendously from this joint initiative.” — Joe Seunghyun Cho, CEO of LATTICE80


3. Luxembourg Fintech Awards


A key event of the year for Luxembourg’s finance community, Luxembourg Fintech Awards, organized by KPMG and the LHoFT, recognise up-and-comers from around the world who are working on innovative financial products. Startups from all over the world (including a few natives) converge for an evening of pitches and networking before the presentations are made.

You can read our preview of the event, including all 15 participating startups, here, and interviews with some of the participating startups are available on our Medium page.

“In these Awards we saw propositions spanning from more ‘traditional’ sub-sectors like investment management to new and exciting areas like blockchain, AI, and even FuelTech. We are very excited to see further developments, both in the futures of our competitors and winners, and also in FinTech generally as the digital transformation continues to mature.” — Georges Bock, Partner at KPMG Luxembourg


4. Bank of the Future Hackathon


The further you look into the future of financial services, the more exciting it becomes. Not just because of the technology, or regulatory progress, but because of the vision and perspective brought by younger generations. We were thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with Digital Lëtzebuerg and Temenos Group on a hackathon to help prepare some future Fintech innovators from Luxembourg Tech School.

27 students spent a weekend at the LHoFT, with mentors on hand, developing their concepts for a ‘bank of the future’, and the results were incredible. Read our report from the weekend, and interview with winning team ‘Visicred’ here.

“Incredible. Amazing. Awesome. Mind blowing. I can throw many superlatives to describe what I have experienced this weekend. It is so inspiring to see those young people so engaged, contributing their creativity to an industry that is hungry for innovation. The Luxembourg Tech School has done a fantastic job. Temenos has demonstrate their progressive and open attitude to innovation by supporting this initiative. Digital Lëtzebuerg has been magnificent. The mentors were so generous on the time they gave. Thank you to all: students, teachers, mentors, supporters and jury members.” Nasir Zubairi, CEO of the LHoFT


5. Fund Transaction on Blockchain Technology Completed in Luxembourg

Generally flying under the radar as a place of real innovation, Luxembourg raised a few eyebrows in July by completing the first fund transaction on blockchain technology.

Investors completed a purchase of shares using FundsDLT, a blockchain-powered platform built in collaboration with Fundsquare (a subsidiary of the Luxembourg Stock Exchange), InTech (a subsidiary of POST Group) and KPMG Luxembourg. Read more about the technology and transaction here.

“We are proud to have run the first real blockchain transactions in the history of investment funds. It was important for us to demonstrate that FundsDLT works in order to create the necessary trust that blockchain will answer the current needs of the asset management industry in terms of operational efficiency and digitalization.” — Olivier Portenseigne, Managing Director of Fundsquare


6. ICO White Paper Launch


September saw the launch of a 40-page white paper on initial coin offerings (ICO), coauthored by The Stellar Development Foundation and the Luxembourg House of Financial Technology. The paper combines both a regulator’s perspective (per LHoFT) and a technical and economic perspective (per SDF), and was very well received by industry and enthusiasts as a robust analysis of a proposition that was not widely understood.

You can read our summary of the whitepaper and download the full version here.

“This white paper, created to help understand ICOs, is designed to be a foundation for the education we all have to pursue, particularly institutional and retail investors considering investing in ICOs. Consumer protection is not only achieved by the intervention of the authorities but also by educating potential investors on the risks and benefits of such investments.” — Emilie Allaert, Head of Operations at the LHoFT


7. Fincluders Bootcamp 2017


The Fincluders Bootcamp 2017 was a tremendous opportunity to unite entrepreneurs from all over the globe, each sharing the mission of promoting financial inclusion through innovation. Whether it’s PoS technology for underbanked merchants in Jordan, or a market access platform for rural farmers in Ghana, many shared the same regulatory or business model challenges.

The startups spent a week in Luxembourg at the LHoFT, with mentors from various local institutions offering their insight and guidance, and then moved on to Frankfurt for the concluding week and pitch evening.

Read our introduction to the event and the 12 startups here, and the post-bootcamp report here.

“Access to financial services is a basic human need, and the entrepreneurs in the Fincluders bootcamp have identified truly innovative models to expand financial inclusion across Eastern Europe and the Middle East. We’re excited to bring our insights from working with over 700 startups to the challenges the Fincluders participants face, and help them scale their ventures and their impact.” — Ben Younkman, Village Capital New Initiatives

8. Spanish Fintech Roadshow


In November, the LHoFT was excited to partner with BCEE (Spuerkeess) on an event welcoming 11 Spanish Fintech startups to Luxembourg for an day of pitches and networking with the local community.

The objective of this great gathering was to show that collaboration in the Fintech world is paramount. As highlighted in the welcome speeches made by H.E. Mr. Carlos de Lojendio, Spanish Ambassador, Jorge Alvar Villegas, ICEX Director, and Françoise Thoma, BCEE CEO, “Digitalization means working together in an unprecedented way to master the challenges of tomorrow”.

Read our report on the evening, including input from the various figures involved and profiles of the startups, here.

“The LHoFT is thrilled to have organize this Spanish Fintech Roadshow, with the great support of BCEE, the Luxembourg Spanish Embassy and the Spanish Institute for Foreign Trade (ICEX). Some local actors have already express great interest in some of the solutions and I am pretty sure the relation between Luxembourg and Spain, on the fintech stage, will grow even stronger from now on. As always, we are very appreciative for the support and the commitment from the whole community in order to make this event a success.” Alex Panican, Head of Partnerships and Ecosystem at the LHoFT.


9. FinTech Hotline


“Common problems require direct answers.”

That was the guiding principle behind the inaugural ‘Fintech Hotline’, where a panel of experts pulled from local institutions would take calls and answer questions related to the chosen topic.

For the first Fintech Hotline, the panel fielded questions related to starting a financial technology company in Luxembourg. In addition to providing technical answers, the experts could articulate their own perspective on the advantages and benefits that Luxembourg offers.

See our write-up of the Fintech Hotline here. Answers shared during the hotline will be available in future through our knowledgebase.

“The LHoFT is thrilled to launch this initiative and to have the support of the industry and experts willing to give their time for the hotline and share their knowledge and wisdom. We believe that this initiative can be beneficial for everybody: the startups who will be able to have concrete answers on subjects that matter to them as well as for the whole ecosystem to foster even deeper collaboration and have a better understanding of the fintech needs”. — Emilie Allaert, Head of Operations at the LHoFT.


10. Luxembourg Finance Innovation Summit


At the end of November inFinance hosted the annual Luxembourg Finance Innovation summit, recognising figures and companies from the local community who are driving innovation and establishing Luxembourg as a leader in financial technology.

We were particularly proud to be recognised with the award of Fintech Leader of the Year for LHoFT CEO Nasir Zubairi, for our member UME who won Fintech Startup of the Year, and for our partner Telindus who won Fintech Solution of the Year.

Read more about the event and other lucky winners here.

“In the digital age, how has the financial sector evolved and how are companies keeping or creating their leadership? What future is to expect for Luxembourg’s financial sector and how to comply with the new standards in terms of technology, regulations, human’s experience?” — Jonathan Prince, co-founder of FINOLOGEE

It’s safe to say we’re all looking forward to even greater achievements in 2018, which is sure to be an incredible year for the growth and prosperity of Luxembourg as a centre for innovation in financial services. Thank you to all of our partners, and the individuals who have made the future of Luxembourg a personal mission.



The LHoFT Foundation

The LHoFT Foundation is a not-for-profit initiative supported by the public & private sector to drive innovation for, and digitialisation of Luxembourg’s financial services industry. The LHoFT is the national platform and central hub for Fintech, working to connect the domestic and international community to solve challenges and address opportunities that will ensure the Financial Industry’s continued competitiveness.

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