Acorns Hits Unicorn Status With $300 Million Raise, Eyes Expansion Into Crypto

Harri Weber

Harri is dot.LA's senior finance reporter. She previously worked for Gizmodo, Fast Company, VentureBeat and Flipboard. Find her on Twitter and send tips on L.A. startups and venture capital to harrison@dot.la.

​A person using the Acorns fintech app.
Courtesy of Acorns

Sign up for dot.LA’s daily newsletter for the latest news on Southern California’s tech, startup and venture capital scene.

Savings and investing app Acorns is now a unicorn valued at $1.9 billion after closing a $300 million Series F funding round, the Irvine-based company announced Wednesday. The fresh funds come two months after the startup bailed on a plan to go public by merging with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).

The new funding sees Acorns double its private market valuation, which stood at $860 million following a $105 million Series E raise in 2019. However, the new valuation falls short of the $2.2 billion that Acorns originally targeted through its canceled SPAC deal.


Private equity firm TPG led the Series F round and was joined by the likes of BlackRock, Greycroft and Kevin Durant’s Thirty Five Ventures. New investors Galaxy Digital, a crypto-focused investment firm, and Owl Rock, a division of asset management firm Blue Owl, also participated.

Galaxy Digital’s connection to blockchain tech is no coincidence. In a statement on the raise, Acorns announced that it intends to introduce customizable investment portfolios that will include “the ability to add crypto exposure to a diversified portfolio.” The update would represent a shift for Acorns, which to date has focused on hands-off, passive investing tools.

Acorns isn’t alone in turning away from SPACs as of late. While the so-called blank-check companies can offer startups a speedier route to the public markets, their appeal has cooled recently due to heightened scrutiny from regulators and generally poor market performance. Instead, Acorns plans to “pursue a traditional IPO,” CEO Noah Kerner told TechCrunch. “We think that makes the most sense going forward,” he said.

True to its name, Acorns claims it has planted more than 723,000 oak trees to date to “help fight climate change.” This appeal to climate-minded customers isn’t unique to the savings app; other fintech firms have also embraced tree planting, including Marina del Rey-based neo-bank Aspiration.

Acorns is tied to fossil fuels through at least one of its investors, however: A report from Reclaim Finance, a French climate advocacy group, found that BlackRock had $85 billion in assets tied to coal companies as of January 2021.

Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.

How Women’s Purchasing Power Is Creating a New Wave of Economic Opportunities In Sports

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

How Women’s Purchasing Power Is Creating a New Wave of Economic Opportunities In Sports
Samson Amore

According to a Forbes report last April, both the viewership and dollars behind women’s sports at a collegiate and professional level are growing.

Read moreShow less
https://twitter.com/samsonamore
samsonamore@dot.la
LA Tech Week Day 5: Social Highlights
Evan Xie

L.A. Tech Week has brought venture capitalists, founders and entrepreneurs from around the world to the California coast. With so many tech nerds in one place, it's easy to laugh, joke and reminisce about the future of tech in SoCal.

Here's what people are saying about the fifth day of L.A. Tech Week on social:

Read moreShow less

LA Tech Week: How These Six Greentech Startups Are Tackling Major Climate Issues

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

LA Tech Week: How These Six Greentech Startups Are Tackling Major Climate Issues
Samson Amore

At Lowercarbon Capital’s LA Tech Week event Thursday, the synergy between the region’s aerospace industry and greentech startups was clear.

The event sponsored by Lowercarbon, Climate Draft (and the defunct Silicon Valley Bank’s Climate Technology & Sustainability team) brought together a handful of local startups in Hawthorne not far from LAX, and many of the companies shared DNA with arguably the region’s most famous tech resident: SpaceX.

Read moreShow less
https://twitter.com/samsonamore
samsonamore@dot.la
RELATEDEDITOR'S PICKS
Trending