In 2021, LBAN’s membership base grew by 30%, their investments grew by more than 25% and for the first time ever, more than half of their investments were made in Luxembourg. Silicon Luxembourg caught up with LBAN’s Manager Teona Khubutia to discuss their successes and what’s in store for them in 2022.
Founded in 2011, Luxembourg Business Angel Network (LBAN) is Luxembourg’s oldest angel network. With over 100 members and more than €8.3 million invested in 2021, it is also the largest.
Having grown its investments relative to 2020 by more than 25% is an impressive achievement. And although Covid-19 impacted the investments made in 2020 compared to 2019 (€6.5 vs €6.9 million), the pandemic alone does not explain the progress achieved by LBAN in 2021.
“In the past year, we’ve progressed tremendously,” says Teona Khubutia. “Part of this is due to the recomposition of our board and the allocation of committees to specific tasks.”
As a player of the ecosystem, Teona is also quick to credit government initiatives that are attracting startups from around the world.
“Luxembourg is really trying to position itself as a Startup Nation and have launched a number of initiatives which are making it attractive for interesting startups to join the ecosystem, both for investors and startups,” adds Teona. “While you cannot really calculate the exact numbers linked to that, the way Luxembourg is promoting the ecosystem certainly has an impact.”
“Investors are becoming more conscious of the long-term impacts of their investments on people and the environment.”
Growing Members And Experience
A steadily growing membership base has certainly helped LBAN too. Not only did their membership base grow by 30% in 2021, “the quality and activity of the members” have also increased confirms Teona.
Having improved its communications and marketing strategies, LBAN has been able to reach angel investors with more than 30 nationalities and expertise in sectors ranging from FinTech to CleanTech to AgriTech.
In 2021, LBAN’s business angels’ top three most invested sectors were FinTech/RegTech, ICT solutions and PropTech. While LBAN describes itself as “sector agnostic,” the expertise of the angels and market trends certainly influence these rankings.
“Predicting the hottest sectors or trends is a science in itself. We see major trends emerging in areas such as clean energy, delivery, Web 3.0, food, health and education. Since we are sector agnostic, we are looking primarily for innovation and disruption made by great founding teams,” says Head of LBAN’s Investment Committee Romain Hoffmann.
Looking ahead, Teona expects FinTech to remain the dominant sector for at least a while but mentions that ‘impact investing’ is becoming increasingly popular.
“Investors are becoming more conscious of the long-term impacts of their investments on people and the environment,” says Teona. As for LBAN, it hopes to make use of its current momentum, at least double its membership base in the coming years and at double the investments made.
Having gone from a small, informal network of angel investors to an association that is considered an established player in the ecosystem, LBAN looks like it’s on the right trajectory to fulfil its future goals.