Acorns (company)

Acorns is an American financial technology and financial services company based in Irvine, California that specializes in micro-investing and robo-investing. As of 2019, Acorns had over 4.5 million users and over $1.2 billion in assets under management.[1]


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.[1] This was made possible following an acquisition of Portland, Oregon fintech retirement startup, Vault.[6]

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.[7][8]

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.[9][10]


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.[11] On launch, Acorns charged a $1 fee for its service.[12]

Regulatory Action

In 2017 Acorns was censured and paid a $175,000 fine for failing to maintain proper customer records.[13]


  1. ^ Jump up to:ab 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.
  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. ^ Jump up to:ab 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. ^“Acorns to launch new retirement accounts after buying Portland fintech startup, Vault”. TechCrunch. Retrieved 2020-02-26.
  7. ^

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