Let’s take the time to celebrate those who have made headlines this year. Just a year ago, enthusiasm was rife among entrepreneurs.
Photo: 2020 in review / Credits © Shutterstock
The year was off to a great start and the first quarter was very positive in terms of figures. The last few years had laid the foundations of the tech ecosystem and the relationships between companies, institutions, and startups were being woven. All that was left to do was… and then, just like that, you’re out of luck! The rest of the year was indecisive, testing many a certainty and forcing entrepreneurs to be even more creative. It’s no surprise that covid was the top of the search term this year, but none of this prevented some from doing well and others from accelerating their growth. Let’s look at this year in review.
It was the most-awaited list of last spring, one which all entrepreneurs and startups were looking forward to. The big call for projects from Luxinnovation and the Ministry of Economy – with a significant budget – to develop a new solution received hundreds of applications, out of which 15 ideas were selected. Some of these 15 big ideas have already been implemented and put into practice and the others are being finalised to be announced this year.
This was the first major announcement made to support companies following the implementation of containment measures. Since then the measures have been refined, expanded, or extended and the government now publicises all its measures via the helpline run by the Chamber of Commerce and the House of Entrepreneurship teams. This in particular, has been valuable, as has the React programme to name a few.
The announcement that the multi-entrepreneur had died due to Covid was a great shock to the entire startup community. The initiator of the Luxembourg pavilion at the CES, president of the Luxembourg Startup Federation, founder of Luxfactory, co-founder of MySardines, and expert in the ICT and Telecom sector, Jérôme Grandidier certainly has left his mark and has been instrumental in the rise of the startup scene.
Before announcing the list of the 15 selected projects, the Ministry of Economy, in partnership with Luxinnovation, had made a lot of noise with their communication campaign for the StartupsVsCovid19’s call for projects. The budget allocated – initially for a new edition of the Fit 4 Start programme – encouraged startups to apply.
Events have multiplied during the confinement and post-confinement, and one of the most notorious of these was undoubtedly the Hack The Crisis event. The Luxembourg edition brought together more than 200 participants who took part for 24 hours in this virtual hackathon. In the end, 5 winners were chosen out of 10 finalists by a jury.
Arriving in Luxembourg a year ago, the successful Finnish entrepreneur Matias Mäenpää immediately became deeply involved in the Luxembourg tech ecosystem as a mentor, coach, and above all, as a business angel. Author of the book EXIT – whose second edition has just been published – he also likes to share his good advice, such as on how to raise funds successfully.
The Luxembourg regtech company was the first to open the fundraising ball in 2021. The startup has accelerated its development this year with several recruitments and their move to new offices. Bert Boerman and his team committed to further extend their corporate governance solution.
ANote Music had its official launch in July this year. At the beginning of the year, the music royalty management platform announced its first fundraising event, before opening its beta version during confinement. It then made its mark with the first partner labels. The music tech company is booming and will definitely be in the news again this year.
The first big announcement made by a startup – only a few days after the first containment measures were put into place – was made by Doctena. The specialist in medical appointment scheduling has launched a solution to consult a doctor remotely via video-conferencing. To do this, the team organised an internal hackathon to speed up the launch of the solution, which was initially planned for a few months later. A fine example of responsiveness and creativity.
The Italian fintech made a big splash this year with a very successful launch in Luxembourg. With an e-money licence, the scale-up has already attracted hundreds of retailers and now the fintech intends to expand all over Europe. In November, the company announced that it had raised €93 million in funds, notably from the fund of Jack Dorsey, the founder of Twitter.
These were the 10 most-read articles on Silicon Luxembourg in 2020. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for being a faithful reader. Many other articles have also made a mark this year. So we unveil another 10 articles that will complete our list of the top articles of 2020.
If there was one ever-present question that needed to be answered in 2020, it would be – What solutions can be proposed to bring people closer to shopkeepers and restaurateurs? What delivery services can help with this? What click & collect services would be beneficial? What booking solutions would help? What new e-commerce platforms are necessary? New initiatives sprouted up everywhere and this year will very likely see many more of them too.
Luxembourg is attracting more and more foreign startups, particularly in the fintech sector. An Ukrainian startup set up in 2020 offers, what is essentially a matchmaking platform for startups and investors. This is of course of interest to entrepreneurs who are in the midst of fundraising and to investors looking for the next big thing.
A marketing idea that you liked at the dawn of last summer’s deconfinement – How to have a drink and eat a snack while taking into account social distancing, but at the same time offering communication support to brands. Giacomo and his team proposed a solution to this. While waiting for a return to social life and nightlife, the startup is fine-tuning its packaging and its offers.
The boom in online and home sports has been one of the major trends of the year and this trend is not about to die down. But sports halls have had to close their doors temporarily. So the Swedish startup SWIFTR chose to offer a single subscription to book a course online to keep fit even in confined spaces.
The investment fund has stepped up investments in recent months and its founders have given us an insight into the genesis of the fund, the investments made, the projects they are looking for, and the positioning of the fund in the Luxembourg tech ecosystem. It should be noted that one of the latest fundraising events in which Expon Capital participated was the Passbolt fundraising which was announced at the end of the year.
Here is a startup that we discovered at the beginning of the year, which made headlines thisautumn with its selection for the Fit 4 Start coaching programme. The concept? Digitalising receipts to achieve paperlessness. The startup is also exploring the digitisation of restaurant menus – beyond pdf menus – and the possibility of ordering live. The team is taking advantage of the confinement measures in place to perfect its technical solutions.
We can all agree that this health crisis has shaken up the banking sector, which is already struggling with new regulations. Open Banking has become a necessity and the Luxembourg startup conducted a fundraising event during confinement and is now one of the European leaders in the field. A few months later, it announced a strategic partnership with SIX Group.
It would have been astonishing if an article on crypto-currencies had not appeared in our ranking, especially since the last few months have been marked by their boom. The article that caught our attention is a legal article on the taxation of profits – as an individual or a company. You will find out more about the framework set up by the Luxembourg administration in this respect.
Co-working spaces have been t majorly affected by the crisis and the health restrictions imposed. Despite the boom in teleworking and a lull of a few months during the deconfinement, activities such as events and catering have come to a standstill. Membership has continued in response to everyone’s grievances – self-employed, companies. It was during this period, however, that The Office chose to announce the opening of its third space in the city centre.
20. Co-living Brand Cocoonut Announces Its €110K Funding Round To Grow In Luxembourg And The Greater Region
It’s hard to miss the emerging co-living trend and the Cocoonut startup in particular. In the beginning of September, Cocoonut’s founders announced their first fundraising event. But that’s not all, the investors guarantee an investment of up to 15 million euros for the startup to deploy its offer. To keep up with trends in the real estate sector, the LuxPropTech association is an excellent way to not missing out on the latest innovations.
And you, what are the new startups that have left a mark on you in 2020?
What are your suggestions for 2021? Share your views with us or recommend a startup or a site you know! Email us.