The Female Side of Fintech

There’s a growing demand in Germany for financial investment solutions targeting women. Start-ups reorienting their financial services and products around female customers are poised to thrive in Europe’s largest economy.

September 2022

The view that women are fundamentally more risk-averse than men when it comes to financial choices is one Karolina Decker, CEO and cofounder of the Berlin-based start-up finmarie, can no longer abide. “Female risk aversion is a cliché,” Decker says. “As soon as women understand what’s behind stocks or fund investments, they invest similarly to men.”

Decker is speaking from experience – having worked in the financial industry for more than a decade. There are, of course, differences between the genders, which she freely acknowledges. She’s noticed, for instance, that women have different needs and goals and don’t ask the same questions as men about wealth accumulation.

“Women often don’t feel understood and addressed by financial advisors,” she observes. “They want transparent communication and a more direct approach.”

In 2018, Decker recognized that women represented a unique target group and saw an opportunity, which led to her founding finmarie. It offers a combination of classic financial coaching and digitalized asset management specifically for women. In October 2021, the start-up, which she runs with two female partners, Rica Klitzke and Leitha Matz, received fresh capital of EUR 1.4 million from two financial investors.

The Bottom Line

The market for digital asset management in Germany is growing and one major reason is new female investors. Start-ups designing financial services that focus on women are thriving.

Closing the gap

The example of finmarie is hardly unique. In 2021, fintech and insurtech start-ups in Germany received more than EUR 3.7 billion in venture capital – more than six times as much as the year before.

“In 2021, no other start-up industry received as much fresh capital as the German fintech and insurtech sector,” says Josefine Dutschmann, senior manager of Business & Financial Services at Germany Trade & Invest.

And the female niche has become increasingly popular. Start-ups such as finmarie, Financery (see FDI Perspective) and others are benefiting from the rise of financially savvy women. Female customers not only make up half of the population, they’re also well educated in Germany and have great spending power. “There is a shift in diversity and equality taking place in Germany, and this shift is triggering female demand for financial products,” says Decker. For example, the share of women in university-degree-level professions has increased significantly since the 1990s.

Investing for the future

Women are particularly motivated to invest their money wisely in anticipation of dwindling purchasing power as they get older. “Starting around age 35, financial provision for retirement becomes increasingly important for women in Germany,” says Decker. She adds that taking control of their financial destiny and building up their assets help women look to the future with confidence and optimism.

According to a recent study, women accounted for only a third of all company share owners in Germany in 2021. But Decker says that’s changing and anticipates great growth potential in the market. That’s why she’s planning to expand and is currently hiring: finmarie is seeking talent in the areas of technology, product management and digital security.


Financery, a Düsseldorf-based start-up, wants to help women invest

While Germans are generally skeptical about investing in stocks, the number of shareholders in the country leapt upward in the first year of the corona pandemic in 2020 – a trend that stabilized in 2021. One likely reason is the trend for digital investing. Maria Mann, founder of the Düsseldorf-based digital financial services provider Financery, wants to encourage women to invest and help them to build up assets. In cooperation with an asset management company, the start-up develops investment strategies specifically for the segment once termed “the gentler sex.” Financery’s digital platform offers fast, commission-free and flexible investment in exchange-traded funds (ETFs). On the basis of personal details and with the help of an algorithm, Financery proposes a selection of ETF portfolios and saving plans targeted at female customers and tailored to their individual needs. And all this before the customer has even opened an account. “ETFs are a cost-effective way to get into the stock market,” says Mann. The next move for Financery is to roll out a new app feature designed to improve customer experience. The app-integrated budget planner will give female customers a monthly overview of their finances, their budget allowance and possible investment scenarios.


Assets managed




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