Savings and investing app Acorns is set to go public at a $2.2 billion valuation via a combination with Nasdaq-listed Spac Pioneer Merger Corp.
Launched in 2014, Acorns now claims more than four million subscribers in the US for its app that automatically rounds up PayPal and debit and credit card purchases and puts the extra cents into stocks and bonds.
The firm's CEO, Noah Kerner, is a one-time DJ for J-Lo and has looked to sprinkle a little stardust with a host of celebrity backers, including Lopez, Alex Rodriguez, Ashton Kutcher and Kevin Durant
As Acorns goes public, institutional investors including Wellington Management, TPG and funds and accounts managed by BlackRock have committed to an oversubscribed, upsized private placement at closing.
The combined public company - Acorns Holdings - is expected to have over $450 million cash balance at closing, which is set to happen in the second half of the year.
Kerner will continue to lead Acorns and plans to contribute 10% of his personal ownership to fund a novel programme giving shares to eligible customers. Pioneer’s sponsor is also planning to give 10% of its ownership in Acorns to this same programme.
Says Kerner: "Our loyal customers have gotten us here. They’ve earned a right to become owners alongside us, and help us grow together into the mighty oak that Acorns was meant to become."