Acorns, the mobile investing platform that takes spare change and invests it on behalf of its customers, has reached more than 3.5 million customers, with most investing around $50 or $60 per month.
In an interview with TechCrunch, Acorns' chief executive, Noah Kerner, said that while its client base isn't investing huge amounts, the app is a way to get people to save and invest more. “If someone put $10 into an Acorns account and that was all they ever did, it’s not a great deal,” Kerner said. “But that’s not what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to get people to save and invest.”
According to the executive, the average age of the Acorns customer is 32 and has a median income in the $50,000 to $60,000 range. The accounts are being opened across the country rather than being focused on the East or West Coast, which is common with other robo advisor services. Kerner said the app aims to solve two problems in the country: a lack of savings and a lack of understanding about the basics of personal finance.
“The types of problems we’re trying to solve [are] that 70 percent of Americans don’t have a $1,000 emergency fund set up, and 66 percent don’t have a dollar saved for retirement. Another 66 percent can’t pass a basic financial literacy test,” Kerner said in the interview. “The way we think about pricing is from a subscription pricing perspective, and to be really clear with our customers about exactly what they’re paying and exactly what they’re getting.”
TechCrunch noted that earlier in May, Acorns hooked up with BlackRock, the country's largest fund company. In the partnership, the two are sharing development resources and will work together to create financial services products. In addition, Acorns rolled out its retirement savings account service, with more than 100,000 accounts opened in its first month.