The whole country of Luxembourg measures 2,590 km² which makes it a little larger than Bangalore Urban District which measures in at 2,190 km². However size is not a deterrent for ambition and Luxembourg can today claim to hold the distinction of being the second largest investment fund centre in the world. Funds registered in Luxembourg today manage assets close to US$ 3.5 trillion which is second only to the United States.
These asset funds can be classified as hedge funds, private equity, venture capital and real estate funds. Every year more than 100 new fund initiators set up shop in Luxembourg. The whole industry despite it’s size employs only 15,000 people in the city. The top three funds operating in Luxembourg are Franklin Templeton, HSBC and Black Rock.
Luxembourg also holds the distinction for being a leader in financial innovation. Some notable firsts that it can claim credit for are:
- In 1962, the first investment fund was listed on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange (LuxSE).
- In 1978, Luxembourg hosted the first Islamic finance institution in a western country.
- Europe’s first Shariah compliant insurance company was established in the city in 1983.
- The first Sharia compliant bonds were listed on the LuxSE.
- In 1979 the Bank Of China choose the city to launch it’s first international operations.
- The first GDR listing was carried out in 1990.
- Barclays Bank plc issued the world’s first Masala bond in 2008 which was listed, again on the LuxSE. For the uninitiated, Masala bonds are bonds issued in Indian currency where the currency risk is borne by the investor, unlike other bonds where the issuer takes on the risk. The RBI recently rejigged the guidelines for issuing such bonds.
So all these facts and figures make it an ideal place for financial companies to start operations. Startups who require a nurturing eco-system would be well advised to incubate their ideas in this country. Given below are some more interesting facts about Luxembourg.
- It has a favourable taxation structure and is among the top 3 financial centres of Europe along with London and Frankfurt.
- It is ranked 9 / 141 for Global Innovation.
- Ranked No 3 in world for talent competitiveness.
- 46% of the country’s population comes from abroad ( More than 170 countries.)
- 71% of the working population in Luxembourg is composed of foreign nationals.
- Arcelor Mittal is the largest employer in Luxembourg with close to 4300 employees based there.
- The city has an efficient IT infrastructure with close to 23 data Centers. ( 8 with Tier IV certification).
- Most competitive country in the EU and ranks 6th world wide.
- A founding member of OECD, UN and Nato.
So startups, time to pack your bags and get ready to set up base at these Luxembourg business incubators.
Deloitte Startup Boost – www2.deloitte.com
This program helps you incorporate your startup and scale up your infrastructure. You are eligible to receive grants and receive assistance in capital raising from the government.
Tomorrow Street Innovation Centre – www.tomorrowstreet.co
Launched by Vodafone, this innovation centre helps consolidate Vodafone’s international network and opens it up to startups. The centre is looking for startups working on Artificial Intelligence, Cyber-Security and Internet Of Things.
Luxembourg Open Innovation Club – loic.lu
Helps connect the small companies with the big corporations so that they can share ideas and build beneficial relationships. You can attend workshops or apply for their innovation calls through out the year.
LSBC – lsbc.lu
This club connects companies looking to do business across Europe. As a member you get access to business knowledge, best practices and can meet experienced mentors. It is supported by the governments of Luxembourg and Slovenia.
Lux Future Lab – www.luxfuturelab.lu
Currently housing more than 30 startups, Lux Future Lab is focused on incubating startups in digital security, financial services, social networks, robotics, AI and gaming.
LHoFT – www.lhoft.com
Luxembourg House Of Financial Technology offfers fintech startup incubation, co-working spaces and connects you Luxembourg’s Fintech ecosystem.
TechnoPort – www.technoport.lu
Started way back in 2012 it was formed by the merger of of three existing government backed incubators. It hosts 25 companies at any given point of time and has two different incubation programs to suit the needs of startups.
PWC Accelerator – www.pwcaccelerator.com
Research conducted by PWC suggests that by 2025, there will be 7000 new companies with US$ 1 billion in revenues. And two thirds of these will come from the emerging markets. So if you want to be one of these, head to PWC.
House of Start-Ups – To be launched in early 2018.
Aiming to house close to 200 startups, this incubator has already secured a 4200 sq metre space in the city. Doors open in 2018 for selected startups only.