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, $2, and $3 per month for packages of different services.
- 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 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 February 2020, Acorns had 6.8 million users, up from 4.6 million the previous year. 1 million of those accounts held IRAs through the platform. The company says that more than $1 billion has been invested through its platform to date. According to Crunchbase, Acorns has had 12 funding rounds. 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), yielding a valuation of $860 million as of its latest fundraising. Acorns' valuation has surpassed that of fintech rival Betterment.
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.
In the last year, Acorns has begun 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.