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

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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.

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Diankha Linear on How Community Is Revolutionizing Text Marketing

Spencer Rascoff

Spencer Rascoff serves as executive chairman of dot.LA. He is an entrepreneur and company leader who co-founded Zillow, Hotwire, dot.LA, Pacaso and Supernova, and who served as Zillow's CEO for a decade. During Spencer's time as CEO, Zillow won dozens of "best places to work" awards as it grew to over 4,500 employees, $3 billion in revenue, and $10 billion in market capitalization. Prior to Zillow, Spencer co-founded and was VP Corporate Development of Hotwire, which was sold to Expedia for $685 million in 2003. Through his startup studio and venture capital firm, 75 & Sunny, Spencer is an active angel investor in over 100 companies and is incubating several more.

​Diankha Linear
Diankha Linear

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Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is a reporter at dot.LA. Prior to that, she was an editorial fellow at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

LA Tech ‘Moves’: Dreamscape, LinQuest and PetDX Gain New CEOs

“Moves,” our roundup of job changes in L.A. tech, is presented by Interchange.LA, dot.LA's recruiting and career platform connecting Southern California's most exciting companies with top tech talent. Create a free Interchange.LA profile here—and if you're looking for ways to supercharge your recruiting efforts, find out more about Interchange.LA's white-glove recruiting service by emailing Sharmineh O’Farrill Lewis (sharmineh@dot.la). Please send job changes and personnel moves to moves@dot.la.

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Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is a reporter at dot.LA. Prior to that, she was an editorial fellow at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

This Week in ‘Raises’: ADARx Pharmaceuticals Lands $46M, PLAI Labs Scores $32M
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