NX Ventures, a “nano VC” for crowdfunding 😉
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Overview

What most interests me about venture capital is being able to spot opportunity where others can’t, or being able to spot value before everyone else does, and to help test and develop these skills I set up ‘NX Ventures’. NX Ventures is essentially a prototype VC firm which I use to invest small amounts through crowdfunding platforms, trying to pick the companies that I can see succeeding in the future. Unfortunately crowdfunding doesn’t give you access to the ventures with highest potential, but it does you create a pretty fun MVP that has the potential to make very small returns. You can see the investments I've made below...

Verv

By sampling your home electricity 1 million times a second, Verv create an ultra-high resolution picture of how energy is used in your home. Using high speed energy analytics and machine learning, Verv can show you the exact cost/usage breakdown of every appliance in your home, helping to dramatically reduce energy bills.
Thoughts on investment:
Verv could bring a lot of value to assistants like Alexa - being told "the iron has been left on in the lounge" is a very compelling use case. Also I hope they look beyond a consumer market and work on an enterprise version. This technology could bring huge savings to businesses and institutions. 

Chip

Chip's savings account is helping to position them as a real threat to banks. Plugging in directly to the users current bank, Chip offers a brilliant user experience with its innovative way of helping users save. There is also potential to offer users cheaper, more effective ways of managing credit, undercutting the banks they plug into.
Thoughts on investment:
Chip found an effective and innovative way of helping users save, but they are open to copycats. By further developing their proprietary AI technology, and by keeping focus on a seamless UX, Chip could well become a significant player in the savings account sector.

Stashbee

In essence Stashbee is looking to be the 'airbnb of storage' - they connect people who need storage with people who have space. Stashbee can capitalise on a number of major drivers: increasing urbanisation, smaller living spaces, consumers embracing the sharing economy, and the increasing demand for self storage.
Thoughts on investment:
 
Once Stashbee establishes solid ground in the self storage sector, they should build on the services they offer to become a one-stop shop - removals, packing and delivery will make Stashbee a complete service provider for 'storage', with possible expansion into people moving homes. They should also be mindful that their consumer driver (people having less space) may contradict their service (people having spare space) in the future.

Wrisk

Wrisk are everything that current insurers are not - mobile-first, transparent, flexible, hyper-personalised and modern. With their 'macro-insurance', you can have just one policy that covers many areas, and there is a strong focus on helping users manage and understand their risk, showing them what they can do to lower their premium.
Thoughts on investment:
 
Transparency and user empowerment are becoming very strong driving forces in consumer decision making. Wrisk let users see the information most insurance companies keep secret, and this transparency and honesty should be pushed to all areas of the business, such as communication, data handling, customer service etc... This will give Wrisk something that eludes every other insurer - consumer trust.

Ome

With the smart-home product market becoming more and more saturated, Ome set themselves apart by focusing on the essentials - they design products that are smart, beautiful and truly simple for consumers to use. Their smart doorbell is a premium technology product that is very different to the security, gadget focused designs of competitors in the market.
Thoughts on investment:
 
For Ome, design is the differentiator. By continuing to focus on interior focused, useful smart home products, they can take smart home products beyond early adopters and on to lifestyle consumers. With the market expecting to substantially grow, their is a lot of room for alternatives.