3 Startups to Watch: Leveraging Market Niches for Next Gen Investment

little plant based on niche of the old brickA few weeks ago we focused on invest tech, and brought up three startups working to help the market-savvy turn a small advantage into a major lead over other investors.

This week’s startups to watch are investing in under-leveraged niches of the fintech world, from P2P networks to lower insurance premiums, to a little technological midwifery for Northern European and Chinese startups, to banking the underbanked.


Friendsurance is a German startup working in the insurance sector. Based in Berlin and founded in 2010, it is purported to be the first time a concept of person-to-person insurance was implemented. It works by combining social networks with well established insurance companies. Customers can connect to form insurance networks, thereby lowering annual insurance premiums. In 2013, over 90% of those taking advantage of the Friendsurance Method, a service option, received some premiums back, the company said.

Inventure Oy, with offices in both Helsinki and Shanghai, is a venture capital company in the Nordics. Working with entrepreneurs in Finland, the Nordics and Baltics, Inventure supports startups and high-tech companies achieve the market share they hope for. Its latest investments include Solfar Studios, Umbra Software, and Like a Boss (sic, Lab Games).

Wala is a digital banking platform for the underbanked. With offices in Chicago and London, Wala uses community-driven, “gamified” personal financial markets. This helps users track spending and earning habits, thus developing a financial profile. Wala is based on the premise that using the app to set weekly financial goals will improve consumer spending and savings habits.

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