The Digital Tech Fund, a Luxembourg-based seed fund, is supporting two innovative young companies by making a €500,000 investment in each. Over 2,000 applications were received in the space of just one year, and more than 200 were seriously considered for their investment potential. In the end, two foreign companies were selected: itravel and Nektria.
Two promising, creative companies
The first company chosen, itravel, is the first tour operator with an entirely digital value chain. This travel platform enables web users to design their trip based on their own preferences. At a press conference on 10 July 2017, itravel announced that it will be pursuing its development in Luxembourg, where it will be setting up a new operations centre. The company explained that in Luxembourg it will be able to draw on a highly qualified, multilingual workforce and a sophisticated technological infrastructure.
Nektria is a startup that offers a digital logistics platform where users can coordinate deliveries for online orders to match customers' preferred delivery times. The company particularly makes use of the ultra-fast connections and extremely low latency between Luxembourg and the main centres for internet access in Europe. This was the reason behind its decision to develop its business in Luxembourg, where it has created 10 new jobs.
Alain Rodermann, a founder member of Expon Capital, which manages the Digital Tech Fund, explains how the two companies were selected: "We chose itravel and Nektria firstly for the quality of their services and their competitive position, and secondly for the professionalism and experience of their directors. The two start-ups will make a positive contribution to the emergence of a beneficial ecosystem in Luxembourg."
A public-private seed fund
Launched in 2016 by the Luxembourg Government as part of the "Digital Lëtzebuerg" strategy, the Digital Tech Fund is a public-private partnership, owned jointly by the state and a group of private investors: Arendt & Medernach, Banque internationale à Luxembourg SA (BIL), Expon Capital, High Capital (BHS Services), POST Capital, Proximus and SES. The €20.3 million seed fund includes a €5 million investment from the Luxembourg Government. The financial contribution of the other investors amounts to a total of €15.33 million, including €3 million from the National Credit and Investment Company (SNCI) and €1 million from the University of Luxembourg.
(Article written by the editorial staff of the luxembourg.lu portal)