Luxembourg is one of Europe’s smallest countries, known for its beautiful forests and castles, and its high standard of living. It’s startup ecosystem is also growing richer, with one of the highest investment levels in startups per GDP in Europe, and new startup hubs like the House of Startups, and accelerators and incubators sprouting up. The government has been busy making the country more startup friendly, with a recent law enabling entrepreneurs to start a business in just one day with one euro. As in Switzerland, we notice that several Luxembourgish startups are specialising in crypto and blockchain technology.
Here are 10 of Luxembourg’s recently founded startups that we think you should look out for in 2019:
Founded in 2015, JOB TODAY aims to become Europe’s leading mobile jobs marketplace. The startup has digitised recruitment with its mobile-first approach, doing away with clunky CVs, and introducing a built-in messaging platform to make communication between employers and applicants more immediate. In the short time since its launch, JOB TODAY attracted two 200k employers, processed 35 million job applications, and brought on board world-class investors. The startup has so far raised $81 million, including $35 million in a media-for-equity deal in 2017.
Apla‘s mission is to facilitate the mass adoption of blockchain technology by SMEs to drive innovation and positive changes in society. Apla builds blockchain solutions for governments, such as India, the UAE, Kenya, Nigeria and Russia. Apla has developed more than 20 proof-of-concepts on blockchain, including governmental functions like land registry, vehicle registry, certificate issuance, digital rights management platform, and voting systems, as well as private-sector applications like supply chain management solution, the issuance of securities, and a payments platform. Apla was founded in 2016 with headquarters in Luxembourg and offices in Dubai and Moscow.
Zenview offers “relaxation in a new dimension”, providing the “first fully VR mindfulness solution, tailored to the individual needs of employees and companies” to avoid “low productivity, serious health issues and burnout”. When it comes to avoiding and treating stress, Zenview delivers a VR prescription of 10 minutes of meditation per day, “enough to reduce negative feelings and significantly increase overall performance”. Monthly usage reports let the employer learn more about employees’ usage, which emotions are most frequently selected, which environments are chosen, and how much time employees spend relaxing. Founded in April 2018, we featured Zenview as one of our 10 VR startups to look out for in 2019.
VNX Exchange is a marketplace for tokenized venture capital assets. VNX aims to address the inherent lack of liquidity and risk diversification in startup investing, while making access to deals available to a far wider investor base. The team is building an ecosystem to bring efficiency and transparency to the fragmented crypto startup market. VNX Exchange is a spin-off of 2be.lu, a VC fund established in Luxembourg in 2014 to help early stage companies execute their global ambitions. To complement its portfolio of some 16 startups, in 2017 2be.lu launched VNX Exchange, establishing its own crypto fund.
Machinations.io is a browser-based platform to design, balance and simulate game systems. Machinations allows game developers to map any game system in an interactive diagram, set parameters that define elements and the relationship between them, and visualise the way in which these systems work. The most powerful feature in Machinations is Multiple Runs, a Monte Carlo method that can simulate different outcomes, plot results and balance game economies. Launched in 2018, Machinations is currently only available in a closed beta release.
Ziggu – Real estate developers have a very complex job managing different projects each with different suppliers, contractors, architects and sometimes hundreds of customers. Founded in 2017, Ziggu is a platform for managing relations with high-end retail customers. From sharing plans and purchase documents, to managing after-purchase customer satisfaction, to allowing customers to share experiences, the Ziggu platform gives builders and developers a way to turn customers into “Brand Ambassadors”.
CarPay-Diem allows drivers to activate fuel pumps through a mobile app or connected car. When a driver pulls up to a petrol station, their smartphone or car display will automatically switch on and ask for the nearest pump number. The driver can then pump the fuel, and the transaction receipt will appear on the screen, and CarPay-diem takes care of the payment. Founded in 2016, the startup has raised €1.7 million to date.
Based in Dudelange and founded in 2016, algoreg is a regtech startup that develops solutions for anti-money laundering, counter-terrorist financing, information security, software development, regulatory compliance, and more. The startup works with banks, cryptocurrency exchange platforms, gambling operators, and e-commerce websites to provide identity verification solutions, customer risk scoring, and end-to-end compliance management. Algoreg raised $1 million in a Series A round in 2018.
Founded in 2018, CryptX Financial foresees “a future where you can pay your butcher in any currency of your choice, on a peer to peer basis without any middlemen or transaction fees”. Still short of mounting a full scale crypto trading platform, CryptX Financial has launched a simulator, a worldwide cryptocurrency competition where users test their trading skills as cryptocurrency traders. CryptX’s beta trading platform, Trade Quest, is a simulation with real-time values from the market. Trade Quest allows players to make virtual trades, risk-free, while competing in crypto-picking contests to win prizes. In CryptX’s “Live Unbanked” white paper it states: “Come join us and #returncontrol to the people. Stop the banking and finance monopoly, exit the parasitic banking system.”
Founded in 2016, Yoganect is an online marketplace for yoga practitioners and yogis, where they can easily book yoga classes and events in real time, and make their own profiles to connect with like-minded peers, events, classes, and yoga knowledge. Users also participate in online yoga, and access multiple yoga apps for €7.99 per month through the platform. Yoganect works with more than 300 yoga instructors and businesses on its platform, where they can promote their offers, post events, and engage with potential customers.