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Acorns co-founder raises $20m for micro-investing apps

Acorns co-founder raises $20m for micro-investing apps

Acorns co-founder Walter Cruttenden has raised $20 million in Series A funding for his latest venture, Ant Money, and merged it with another of his fintech firms, Blast.

Cruttenden founded micro-investing app Acorns with his son Jeff in 2012 before moving on in 2018 to launch Blast, a startup that lets gamers link their gaming activity to their bank accounts so they can save as they play.

Now he and his co-founder Michael Gleason have raised $20 million from the likes of Franklin Venture Partners, RX3 Ventures, SteelBridge Laboratories, and Steelpoint Capital Partners, for his latest venture, Ant Money.

In conjunction with the raise, Ant Money finalised the acquisition of Blast via a stock-for-stock merger, bringing three separate apps under the Ant Money umbrella: ATM, Blast, and Learn & Earn.

The ATM app helps users generate micro-income for participating in brand matching and providing consumer insight for partner companies. This money is then invested in the stock market through Ant Money Advisors, a wholly owned, SEC-registered investment advisor and robo-advisor, embedded into the app.

Blast lets gamers earn and save for gaming, while the Learn & Earn app, developed in collaboration with Junior Achievement USA, also helps people earn money for learning new skills and then automatically invests in the market.

Gleason, who is Ant's CEO, says: "Ant Money and Blast had similar visions for helping people enter the financial investment world as well as overlapping management, and as we began working together and embedding the Ant Money investment platform into the ATM app, and the Blast Gaming and Learn & Earn apps, it seemed like the logical next step was to merge the companies and build a larger one together."

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