How Acorns Makes Money

The Acorns micro-investing platform makes money through membership fees

Acorns operates a platform allowing members to invest by regularly saving small sums of money, an approach called micro-investing, to save for retirement. The website also offers basic banking services at low fees.

The company divides its services into three primary categories. The first enables members to invest spare change in exchange-traded funds (ETFs). The second allows users to create and fund an IRA through the platform, and the third provides members with a debit card provided through companies such as Visa, Inc. (V). Acorns offers subscriptions for $1, $3, and $5 per month for packages of different services.

Key Takeaways

  • Acorns provides a platform for members to invest spare change in a diversified portfolio in order to grow their wealth.
  • The company also offers retirement savings accounts, a debit card, and other basic banking services.
  • Acorns generates revenue through member subscription fees.
  • Acorns is an example of a fintech company specializing in micro-investing.

Acorns' Industry

Acorns is a fintech company that is best known as a micro-investing platform that allows users to set up automated investments into a portfolio through Round-Ups: Acorns rounds up a debit or credit card purchase made on a linked card to the nearest dollar and invests the change on behalf of the member. Investments are made into one of five portfolios carrying different levels of risk. Acorns is one of many fintech companies focusing heavily on millennial investors, including Robinhood Markets, Inc. and Stash Financial, Inc.

Acorns appeals to millennials, as well as other people new to the world of investing, who may not have significant capital to put toward their retirement. Acorns' goal is to enable users to invest early and often and with minimal effort. The average Acorns member invests more than $30 per month through Round-Ups, the company's signature program.

Fundraising and Financials

As of January 2023, Acorns states that it has had more than 9 million users, up from 6.8 million in March 2021. The company also says that more than $15 billion has been invested through its platform. In March 2021, one million of those accounts held IRAs through the platform.

Acorns has had 10 funding rounds. The most recent was in March 2022, yielding funding of $507 million from eleven investors. In total, the company has raised hundreds of millions of dollars in funding from backers including NBCUniversal Media LLC, Paypal Holdings Inc. (PYPL), and Black Rock Inc. (BLK). As of March 2022, Acorns' valuation was $1.9 billion.

History and Leadership

Acorns was founded by father-and-son entrepreneurial team Walter and Jeff Cruttenden and launched in 2014. The father, Walter, also founded investment banking firm Roth Capital, and was founder and CEO of the investment banking unit of E*Trade. The company now is led by CEO Noah Kerner, who formerly led creative branding agency Noise and was Chief Strategy & Marketing Officer for WeWork. As part of an effort to grow Acorns' user base to 100 million customers, Kerner attracted investors including high-profile celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez.

Recent Developments

In October 2020, Acorns announced that it was partnering with online job market ZipRecruiter. The partnership will allow Acorns' users to browse and apply for jobs within its app.

In 2019, Acorns began a new partnership with CNBC to make more information on investing and finance available to a broader audience through Acorns' Grow website. As of June 2019, Kerner indicated that Acorns was not seeking to go public.

How Acorns Reports Diversity and Inclusiveness

As part of our effort to improve the awareness of the importance of diversity in companies, we offer investors a glimpse into the transparency of Acorns and its commitment to diversity, inclusiveness, and social responsibility. We examined the data Acorns releases. It shows Acorns does not disclose any data about the diversity of its board of directors, C-Suite, general management, and employees overall. It also shows Acorns does not reveal the diversity of itself by race, gender, ability, veteran status, or LGBTQ+ identity.

Article Sources
Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy.
  1. Acorns. "Invest,"

  2. Acorns. "Later,"

  3. Acorns. "Spend,"

  4. Acorns. "Pricing,"

  5. Acorns. "What are Round-Ups?"

  6. Acorns. "What Is Acorns & How Does It Work?"

  7. Acorns. "What is Acorns?"

  8. Forbes. "Acorns."

  9. Crunchbase. "Acorns."

  10. Acorns. "About."

  11. CNBC. "Investing App Acorns Taps "Choppy" Private Markets at $1.9 Billion Valuation After Scrapping SPAC."

  12. Cruttenden Partners. "Team,"

  13. Wall Street Journal. "Jennifer Lopez, Alex Rodriguez Are Investing in Fintech Firm Acorns,"

  14. CNBC. "Acorns partners with ZipRecruiter to launch a job portal within the finance app."

  15. Grow. "Announcing Our New Partnership With CNBC,"

  16. S&P Global. "Credit Karma, Acorns Among Fintechs Not Seeking To Go Public, Execs Say,"