The Fintech Awards highlight Luxembourg’s standing as model digital nation

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The winner of this year’s Fintech Awards Luxembourg is Tokeny, a fintech startup from Luxembourg in alternative finance, followed by runners up OKO (Israel) and Uniken (USA). The Lighthouse Award, given to the startup that best harnesses data-driven technology, went to DreamQuark (France) for its use of artificial intelligence. This fourth edition of the competition was held on 19 June 2019, at KPMG Luxembourg’s headquarters.

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  • Group pic FIntech Awards

    Top row: Jury members: Tom Theobald (Director of development and promotion of the financial centre within the Ministry of Finance), Pascal Denis (Head of Advisory, KPMG), Ghela Boskovich (Head of Fintech/Regtech Partnerships, Rainmaking Innovation), Luc Frieden (Lawyer and former Finance Minister of Luxembourg), Nasir Zubairi (CEO of the LHoFT), Cristina Ferreira (State Street), Frederic Becker (Fintech advisor, Ministère de l’Économie) and Pedro Penedo (Partner, IT Advisory, KPMG Portugal, Member of the Global Lighthouse Leadership Team). Second row: Winners of the competition: Shehzad Lokhandwalla (CTO & Co-Founder of OKO), Robert Levine (COO & Global Business Development Uniken), Simon Schwall (Founder and CEO of OKO) and Mathieu Cottin (Head of Business Development, Tokeny).

Out of 194 initial applicants to the Awards, which spanned more than 30 countries, 20 semi-finalists were invited to Luxembourg to compete at the event. Of these, eight were Regtech startups, showing the continuing demand for regulatory services, while insurtech, wealth management, robo-advisors, and other sub-sectors were also represented.

Pascal Denis, Chair of the jury and Head of Advisory at KPMG Luxembourg, discussed the importance of maturing technology in the current fintech scene: “In an area as rapidly evolving as fintech, startups need to be agile and resolute in their commitment to developing trusted cutting-edge technology. Our crop of startups this year perfectly exemplified this mindset and their technical knowledge, innovative methodologies and entrepreneurial spirit truly inspired us as a jury. I was eager to hear from startups in contention for the new Lighthouse award which recognized companies using data-driven technology, and I was not disappointed. The excellent results being produced in this area throw a promising spotlight on the maturity of AI and how it can shape the future of finance”.

Nasir Zubairi, CEO of the Luxembourg House of Financial Technology, commented: “The 10 Finalists were fantastics – an incredibly strong field of competition all with solutions that could provide real positive impact to Luxembourg institutions. To choose the winner was a difficult process, but we are thrilled to see two LHoFT residents Tokeny and OKO who received the top prizes, demonstrating how local Luxembourg solutions are becoming more robust and relevant.”

Jury head Pascal Denis was joined by six other jurists: Frederic Becker, Fintech advisor at Ministère de l’Economie; Ghela Boskovich, Head of Fintech/Regtech Partnerships at Rainmaking Innovation; Cristina Ferreira, Head Regulatory Solutions & Innovation at State Street; Luc Frieden, Lawyer at Elvinger Hoss and former Finance Minister of Luxembourg; Pedro Penedo, Partner at KPMG Portugal and Member of the Global Lighthouse Leadership Team; and Nasir Zubairi, CEO of the LHoFT.

After an hour of deliberation, the jury made their decisions:

  • Fintech Startup of the Year: Tokeny won €50,000 in start-up money, a free LHoFT membership (+3 months’ hosting), and 10 hours’ free consulting from KPMG.
  • Runner-up: OKO won 5 months’ hosting at the Technoport in Luxembourg.
  • Second Runner-up: Uniken won an advertisement by Maison Moderne.
  • Lighthouse Award: DreamQuark won 10 hours of KPMG consulting.

The Fintech Awards represents a coming together of the most important parties of Luxembourg’s ecosystem, including the government, established financial firms, advisors, and of course the disruptive startups themselves. Out of this exciting nebula should emerge ideas and relationships that will further secure the country’s reputation as an innovative leader in finance.

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