Startup of the Month Helps You Invest Spare Change AutomaticallyAuthor: Daniel Mather
There has been no shortage of high caliber startup operators emerging in all parts of the world in the early months of 2016, from biotech innovators to all manner of virtual data room providers looking to mix up home delivery markets.
But certainly one of the best startup in March stories has to be that of a company called Acorns, which uses some strikingly clever but simple techniques and technology to invest its subscribers’ spare change via a smartphone app.
Making a change
The idea underpinning Acorns and its app is that investing money in stocks and shares needn’t to be a particularly complex or time-consuming process.
Essentially the smartphone app systematically takes the change from an everyday credit or debit card purchase and invests it in exchange-traded funds online.
The money goes into a diversified portfolio and users can keep up to date with how their initially modest investments are performing for them via a complimentary app that functions on any Apple or Android device.
Founded in 2012 by the father and son duo Walter and Jeffrey Cruttenden, Acorns is really making progress right now and has made an impressive start to 2016 with investors seemingly as taken with its concept as its growing army of American users.
The Californian startup raised as much as $32 million via venture capital funding during its most recent appeal for financial backing.
It looks as if the sky could be the limit for Acorns, with in excess of 300,000 investment accounts having been set up already and more being added with each day that passes.
There are reportedly more than half a million people registered with the company behind the app and the scope for growth on the basis of such a simple idea looks to be very considerable indeed.
Already employing 80 people, Acorns has been able to boast the assistance of no less a figure than the Nobel Prize winning economist Dr Harry Markowitz.
The man credited as being the father of modern portfolio theory is apparently helping to construct and optimize the five diversified stock portfolios into which the spare change of Acorns’ users is now being routinely invested.
Simplicity and security
As with so many startups based around the use of smartphone apps for various purposes, Acorns has been smart in its creation of a system and a service that is strikingly simple.
From the premise to the pricing structure, the whole picture of how Acorns works and why it might be a great tool for investing small sums on a regular basis is crystal clear and easy to understand.
Plus the company has been quick to get serious in its approach to security, with the importance of the issue clearly not lost on Acorns’ founders.
The startup has said it is aiming to go global this year and few people will be backing against its going from strength to strength as it enters new markets in the coming month.