Acorns (company)

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Acorns
Acorns logo.png
Type of site
Private
HeadquartersIrvine, California
Key peopleNoah Kerner (CEO)
IndustryFinancial services
ProductsInvestment management, investment portfolios, stock portfolios, stock trading
URLwww.acorns.com
Launched2012; 9 years ago (2012)

Acorns is an American financial technology and financial services company based in Irvine, California that specializes in micro-investing and robo-investing. According to Fortune's Impact 20 list for the year 2020, Acorns had 8.2 million customers and $3 billion in assets under management.[1]

History[edit]

The company was launched in 2012 by father and son duo Walter Wemple Cruttenden III and Jeffrey James Cruttenden to promote incremental and passive investing.[2][3] It launched in 2014 with an app for iOS and Android devices.[4] The portfolio options a user can select from were designed in partnership with paid advisor Harry Markowitz, a Nobel laureate.[5]

Since its inception, the platform has expanded to include checking account services and retirement IRA products.[6] This was made possible following an acquisition of Portland, Oregon fintech retirement startup, Vault.[7]

In 2018, behavioral economist Shlomo Benartzi was appointed chair of a behavioral economics committee at Acorns, working on an initiative termed the Money Lab to conduct field experiments focused on consumer spending.[8][9]

Since its founding, the company has raised approximately $100 million in venture capital funding.[3] As of August 2019, notable investors in Acorns included Jennifer Lopez, Alex Rodriguez, Bono, Ashton Kutcher and Kevin Durant. PayPal, BlackRock, and NBCUniversal also have a stake in the company.[10][11]

Services[edit]

Upon account creation, a user selects one of several pre-built portfolios to invest in and connects a debit or credit card to their account. Every purchase is rounded up to the next whole dollar, and the remainder is invested in the selected portfolios.[12] On launch, Acorns charged a $1 fee for its service.[13]

Regulatory Action[edit]

In 2017, Acorns was censured and fined by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority for failing to maintain proper customer records.[14]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Impact 20: Acorns". Fortune. 2020. Retrieved January 5, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ O'Brien, Sara (15 April 2015). "Acorns is an 8-month-old app that makes investing spare change dead simple, and it just raised $23 million". CNN Business. Retrieved 4 November 2019.
  3. ^ a b Rudegeair, Peter; Krouse, Sarah (9 May 2018). "BlackRock Backs a Startup to Find Out What Young Investors Want". Retrieved 4 November 2019.
  4. ^ Hubbard, Amy (30 May 2014). "Acorns app taps bank account, invests your money $5 at a time". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 4 November 2019.
  5. ^ Lapowsky, Issie (28 August 2014). "Every Time You Buy Something, This App Invests a Few Pennies on Wall Street". Wired Magazine. Retrieved 4 November 2019.
  6. ^ DeFrancesco, Dan (28 January 2019). "Investing app Acorns nabbed $105 million in funding and now has a higher valuation than robo giant Betterment". Business Insider. Retrieved 4 November 2019.
  7. ^ "Acorns to launch new retirement accounts after buying Portland fintech startup, Vault". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2020-02-26.
  8. ^ Shell, Adam (20 September 2018). "Acorns savings app: Why saving $5 a day is easier than committing to $150 a month". USA Today. Retrieved 4 November 2019.
  9. ^ Neal, Ryan (21 September 2018). "Shlomo Benartzi to chair Acorns behavioral economics committee". Investment News. Retrieved 4 November 2019.
  10. ^ Rudegeair, Peter (19 August 2019). "Jennifer Lopez, Alex Rodriguez Are Investing in Fintech Firm Acorns". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 4 November 2019.
  11. ^ Berdychowski, Bernadette (21 August 2019). "Star power? Athletes and actors join fintechs as A-list investors". Financial Planning. Retrieved 4 November 2019.
  12. ^ Eneriz, Ashley (September 24, 2019). "How the Acorns App Works and Makes Its Money". Investopedia.
  13. ^ Dyer, Jonathan (June 6, 2018). "Acorns Announces Acorns Spend Checking Account, Debit Card". Dyer News.
  14. ^ "FINRA Disciplinary Actions Online | FINRA.org". www.finra.org. Retrieved 2021-02-10.