Acorns is a fintech platform providing services related to Robo-investing and micro-investing. The company makes money primarily through three subscription tiers: Lite – ($1/month), which gives users access to Acorns Invest, Personal ($3/month) that includes Invest plus the Later (retirement) and Spend (personal checking account) suite of products, Family ($5/month) with features from both the Lite and Personal plans with the addition of Early.
|Business Model Element||Analysis||Implications||Examples|
|Value Proposition||Acorns’ value proposition includes: – Automated Investing: Helping users invest their spare change through round-up transactions and automated portfolio management. – Accessibility: Making investing accessible to individuals with small amounts of money. – Financial Education: Providing educational content to improve financial literacy. – Customization: Allowing users to choose their investment portfolios based on their risk tolerance. Acorns appeals to users looking for a simple and automated way to start investing and save for the future.||Lowers the barrier to entry for investing by using spare change. Encourages financial literacy through educational resources. Provides customization options based on users’ risk preferences. Addresses the needs of individuals seeking a hands-off investment solution. Offers a unique value proposition in the fintech and investment space.||– Automated investing through round-up transactions. – Financial education resources. – Investment portfolio customization based on risk tolerance. – Accessibility for users with limited funds.|
|Customer Segments||Acorns serves the following customer segments: 1. Millennials and Young Adults: Targeting a younger demographic seeking to start investing and save money. 2. Novice Investors: Attracting individuals with limited investment experience. 3. Long-Term Savers: Serving users who want to build long-term wealth and financial security. Acorns focuses on individuals and demographics that may have been traditionally underserved by traditional financial institutions.||Targets a younger audience looking to establish investment habits. Addresses the needs of novice investors seeking guidance. Appeals to users with a long-term savings and wealth-building mindset. Serves customer segments often overlooked by traditional banks.||– Millennials and young adults. – Novice investors with limited experience. – Long-term savers interested in wealth-building.|
|Distribution Strategy||Acorns’ distribution strategy includes: – Mobile Apps: Offering user-friendly mobile applications for iOS and Android devices, making investing and saving accessible on the go. – Online Marketing: Utilizing online advertising, social media, and content marketing to reach and acquire users. – Strategic Partnerships: Collaborating with financial institutions and brands to expand its user base. – Referral Program: Incentivizing users to refer friends and family to Acorns through rewards. Acorns leverages mobile apps, online marketing, partnerships, and referrals to distribute its services.||Ensures accessibility and convenience through mobile apps. Reaches a broad user base through online advertising and marketing efforts. Expands its reach by partnering with established financial institutions. Encourages user growth through a referral program with incentives. Utilizes a multi-faceted distribution strategy in the fintech sector.||– Mobile apps for iOS and Android devices. – Online marketing campaigns and social media. – Partnerships with financial institutions. – Referral program with rewards for users.|
|Revenue Streams||Acorns generates revenue through the following channels: 1. Subscription Plans: Offering tiered subscription plans with varying features and benefits. 2. Investment Fees: Charging users a small percentage of assets under management (AUM) as fees. 3. Acorns Earn: Earning referral fees by promoting financial products and services from partner companies. 4. Brand Partnerships: Collaborating with brands and receiving marketing fees for promotions and offers. Acorns diversifies its revenue streams through subscription plans, investment fees, referrals, and brand partnerships.||Generates income from subscription plans with premium features. Earns fees based on assets under management (AUM). Gains referral fees through the Acorns Earn program. Collaborates with brands for marketing fees and promotions. Diversifies revenue sources within the fintech and investment industry.||– Revenue from tiered subscription plans. – Fees based on assets under management (AUM). – Referral fees through Acorns Earn. – Marketing fees from brand partnerships.|
|Marketing Strategy||Acorns’ marketing strategy involves: – Content Marketing: Creating educational content to promote financial literacy and the benefits of investing. – User Referral Program: Encouraging users to refer friends and family to Acorns with incentives. – Social Media Engagement: Utilizing social media platforms to engage with users and share investment insights. – Online Advertising: Running targeted online ad campaigns to reach potential users. Acorns focuses on education, referrals, social media, and online advertising to market its platform.||Attracts users through financial education and literacy resources. Utilizes referrals to grow its user base organically. Engages with users and shares investment insights via social media. Reaches a wider audience through targeted online advertising campaigns. Implements a comprehensive marketing strategy in the fintech sector.||– Educational content promoting financial literacy. – Referral program incentivizing users to refer others. – Social media engagement and investment insights. – Targeted online advertising campaigns.|
|Organization Structure||Acorns’ organizational structure includes: – Executive Leadership: Comprising executives responsible for strategic direction and decision-making. – Technology and Development Teams: Managing the development and maintenance of Acorns’ technology platform. – Marketing and User Engagement Teams: Handling marketing campaigns, user engagement, and support. – Partnerships and Integration Teams: Collaborating with financial institutions and brands. Acorns maintains a structured organization to support its platform development, marketing, partnerships, and user engagement.||Led by executive leadership for strategic guidance. Manages technology development and platform maintenance. Handles marketing, user engagement, and support functions. Collaborates with financial institutions and brand partners. Maintains an organized structure aligned with its mission in the fintech industry.||– Executive leadership for strategic direction. – Technology and development teams. – Marketing and user engagement teams. – Partnerships and integration teams.|
Acorns is an American financial technology and services company founded in 2012 by Walter and James Cruttenden.
The father and son duo created Acorns to educate others on passive and incremental investing. Once a user has signed up for an account, they can select from a range of pre-built investment portfolios.
The portfolio can then be grown through micro-investing once the user connects a valid debit or credit card.
In recent years, the platform has expanded to offer checking account services and individual retirement account (IRA) products.
The company also strengthened its product offering by appointing behavioral economist Shlomo Benartzi to an Acorns committee tasked with investigating consumer spending.
As of 2020, Acorns had $3 billion in assets under management spread across 8.2 million customers.
How Acorns makes money
First and foremost, Acorns makes money via three subscription tiers:
- Lite ($1/month) – which gives users access to Acorns Invest, allowing them to round up their spare change and invest it into an exchange-traded fund.
- Personal ($3/month) – including Acorns Invest plus the Later (retirement) and Spend (personal checking account) suite of products.
- Family ($5/month) – encompassing features from both the Lite and Personal plans with the addition of Early. This allows parents to create an investment account for their kids and save money on capital gains tax.
When an Acorns member purchases at one of its 350 partners, the company earns a referral fee.
The fee is usually a small percentage of the total purchase amount. Acorns then distribute a portion of that fee to members – either as a direct deposit or re-invested on their behalf.
For investment portfolios exceeding $5,000, Acorns charge a flat annual management fee of 0.25%.
Interest on cash
Acorns also make money by lending the money sitting in member accounts to other financial institutions and collecting interest.
Future growth strategies
Many Acorns accounts are only netting the company $12 annually, which is not a lot of revenue.
The first such action is the establishment of Acorns Later, where the company hopes to secure customers early in their careers and help them build a sizeable nest egg.
Acorns also formed a strategic partnership with PayPal to expand their customer base and get access to bank account services.
Based on recent acquisition activity, some speculate that a B2B offering may also be under development. B2B services are a significant avenue for revenue generation, as evidenced by Acorns competitor Stash.
- Acorns is an American fintech company with a focus on micro-investing and other services such as retirement planning and investment accounts to fund future tuition expenses.
- Acorns charge a management fee for each of its three investment subscription plans. Portfolios with a value exceeding $5000 are also charged a flat fee of 0.25%.
- Many Acorns customers with low-value investment portfolios are returning very little revenue to the company. It has sought to remedy this situation with a focus on retirement products and strategic partnerships. There is also the potential that Acorns will enter the lucrative B2B market.
Read More: How Does TD Ameritrade Make Money, How Does Dave Make Money, How Does Webull Make Money, How Does Betterment Make Money, How Does Wealthfront Make Money, How Does M1 Finance Make Money, How Does Mint Make Money, How Does NerdWallet Make Money, How Does Acorns Make Money, How Does SoFi Make Money, How Does Stash Make Money, How Does Robinhood Make Money, How Does E-Trade Make Money, How Does Coinbase Make Money, How Does Affirm Make Money, Fintech Companies And Their Business Models.
List of FinTech Business Models
Main Free Guides: