Some time ago i found myself talking with heads of a investment fund looking for opportunities to invest in the Romanian internet. Aside my legendary gloom and discomfort with the way things are going in this industry, we tried to find unconquered niches to exploit (please remember this was a 2010 discussion, some things may have changed).
So, here are some of them:
- Expat News. While i was living in Berlin i read TheLocal, which is a international network of local news sites, written in English. It’s a very good site to have, because the expats living in Romania are usually in middle or upper management, so they have money.
- Financial News. The current situation is not pretty and a have an example for it: some time ago, a shareholder of one of the biggest football clubs in Romania got married to a young girl. News flew from site to site, what dress will she wear, what car will they be driving, what champagne will they serve. These news flew from site to site, reaching financial news site, as i tend to avoid gossip and general news sites. But not an article was written on these sites from a business perspective. I wanted to know how much is he worth, how much will they spend in this economy, how me made his money and more. You know, news written from a businessman perspective – for a business site. So this is the problem. There are no good financial journalists and no good news sites.
- Educational Sites. Jessica Alba and that other skinny blond chick are launching children sites, because they are mothers and they are a voice good to be the site’s spokesperson. Mihaela Rădulescu, one of the few true showbiz stars we have, launched a clothing line for kids. The market was wide open in 2006, when we (me and a coleague working for Mediafax Internet Group) came up with the idea for boboci.ro as an educational site. It still is. Kids are online, but for how long can the play online games?
- Educational iOS Apps. I had an iPad lying around the house and my nephews came to visit. They are Angry Birds champions on their mother’s iPhone. They fell in love with it. And from speaking with their mother and other parents, there are no children games for these gadgets.
There are many niches uncovered and un-invented. All it takes is money and patience.