THE RIGHT NICHE
Starting a company based on a market niche is a particular risk. You stake your business on the belief that there are people out there who share the passion, need, or problem that inspired your product—and who are also willing to pay for it. These five founders took that risk, creating companies that exploit a slice of an existing market that was ripe for innovation and a fresh approach. Turns out they were right. We welcome these first-time members of the Inc. 5000, who prove that sometimes a niche can turn out to be a whole lot bigger than you ever dreamed.
A road map through a murky corner of finance
When Srii Srinivasan’s call center company received a chargeback—the reversal by a bank or credit card company of a payment, due to a customer dispute— “there was nobody to contact, really,” she says. After months of wading through paperwork and navigating what she calls the “deep, dark, mysterious world of chargebacks,” she succeeded in recovering every penny her customer had disputed. In 2013, she and her co-founder husband, Suresh Dakshina, realized they could help online merchants fight chargebacks with their newfound expertise. “This is not a sexy part of business,” she says of the Allen, Texas–based company. Business owners are “thinking about how to make a profit, how to make a product good, marketing, sales. They don’t want to think about this.”