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Why Acorns's Business Model is so successful?

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Acorns’s Company Overview


Acorns is a leading fintech company headquartered in Irvine, California. Founded in 2012, the company aims to simplify the often intimidating world of investing through its mobile and web-based applications. Acorns' primary mission is to look after the financial best interests of the up-and-coming, beginning with the empowering step of micro-investing. The platform allows users to automatically invest the spare change from everyday purchases into diversified portfolios of exchange-traded funds, curated by experts. The company also offers educational content to help users understand the principles of investing and personal finance. Acorns' business model is centered on a subscription-based service. Customers choose from three subscription tiers: Lite, Personal, and Family, each offering a different level of service. The Lite plan offers basic investment services, the Personal plan includes retirement and checking account features, and the Family plan extends the benefits to kids with an investment account for children. In terms of the revenue model, Acorns primarily generates income from these monthly subscription fees. The company also earns revenue from its partnerships with over 350 brands, including Airbnb and Walmart. When customers shop with these partners using the Acorns app, the partners return a portion of the purchase price to the customer’s investment account, a feature known as "Found Money". This not only benefits Acorns' users but also provides the company with an additional income stream.

https://www.acorns.com/

Country: California

Foundations date: 2012

Type: Private

Sector: Financials

Categories: Financial Services


Acorns’s Customer Needs


Social impact:

Life changing: affiliation/belonging

Emotional: rewards me, provides access, design/aesthetics

Functional: simplifies, makes money, reduces risk, integrates, connects, informs


Acorns’s Related Competitors



Acorns’s Business Operations


Alternative currencies and banking:

Alternative currencies (also known as private currencies) are units of value issued by a private entity, such as a business or a non-profit organization. A private company or organization usually produces a private currency to serve as an alternative to a national or fiat currency, usually the country's standard unit of value. For example, mutual credit is a kind of alternative currency, and therefore any loan that does not go via the banking system qualifies as an alternative currency.

Customer relationship:

Due to the high cost of client acquisition, acquiring a sizable wallet share, economies of scale are crucial. Customer relationship management (CRM) is a technique for dealing with a business's interactions with current and prospective customers that aims to analyze data about customers' interactions with a company to improve business relationships with customers, with a particular emphasis on retention, and ultimately to drive sales growth.

Affiliation:

Commissions are used in the affiliate revenue model example. Essentially, you resell goods from other merchants or businesses on your website or in your physical store. You are then compensated for referring new consumers to the company offering the goods or services. Affiliates often use a pay-per-sale or pay-per-display model. As a result, the business can access a more diversified prospective client base without extra active sales or marketing efforts. Affiliate marketing is a popular internet business strategy with significant potential for growth. When a client purchases via a referral link, the affiliate gets a portion of the transaction's cost.

Customer data:

It primarily offers free services to users, stores their personal information, and acts as a platform for users to interact with one another. Additional value is generated by gathering and processing consumer data in advantageous ways for internal use or transfer to interested third parties. Revenue is produced by either directly selling the data to outsiders or by leveraging it for internal reasons, such as increasing the efficacy of advertising. Thus, innovative, sustainable Big Data business models are as prevalent and desired as they are elusive (i.e., data is the new oil).

Digital transformation:

Digitalization is the systematic and accelerated transformation of company operations, processes, skills, and models to fully exploit the changes and possibilities brought about by digital technology and its effect on society. Digital transformation is a journey with many interconnected intermediate objectives, with the ultimate aim of continuous enhancement of processes, divisions, and the business ecosystem in a hyperconnected age. Therefore, establishing the appropriate bridges for the trip is critical to success.

Disruptive banking:

The banking industry's disruptors are changing the norms that have been in place for decades. These new regulations, however, will only be effective until the next round of disruption occurs. Banks and credit unions must thus be nimble and responsive. We need audacious tactics. 'Disruptive Innovation' is a term that refers to the process whereby a product or service establishes a foothold at the bottom of a market and then persistently climbs up the value chain, ultimately replacing existing rivals.

Low cost:

A pricing strategy in which a business provides a low price in order to drive demand and increase market share. Additionally referred to as a low-price approach. The low-cost model has sparked a revolution in the airline industry. The end-user benefits from low-cost tickets as a result of a revenue strategy that seeks various sources of income. Ryanair was one of the first businesses to embrace this approach.

Mobile first behavior:

It is intended to mean that as a company thinks about its website or its other digital means of communications, it should be thinking critically about the mobile experience and how customers and employees will interact with it from their many devices. The term is “mobile first,” and it is intended to mean that as a company thinks about its website or its other digital means of communications, it should be thinking critically about the mobile experience and how customers and employees will interact with it from their many devices.

Microfinance:

Microfinance provides financial services to entrepreneurs and small companies who may not access traditional banking and financial services. The two primary delivery methods for financial services to such customers are (1) relationship-based banking for individuals and small companies and (2) group-based models, in which many entrepreneurs pool their resources to apply for loans and other services together.

Micropayment:

Micropayments are financial transactions involving a tiny amount of money that is frequently conducted online. While micropayments were initially intended to apply minimal amounts of money, practical systems allowing less than one dollar transactions have met with little success. One impediment to the development of micropayment systems has been the need to keep transaction costs low, which is impracticable when transferring such tiny amounts, even if the transaction charge is just a few cents.

Innovative retail banking model:

The design has no resemblance to a bank but more to a coffee shop. There is free wifi and a large number of iPads accessible for internet use. Automated teller machines (ATMs) are located around the perimeter of the coffee shop, allowing customers to conduct financial transactions. The workforce consists of a mix of coffee shop patrons and banking personnel who circulate and make themselves accessible. If you need services not available through an ATM, fully trained bank personnel can offer all services typically available at a conventional bank branch.

Subscription:

Subscription business models are built on the concept of providing a product or service in exchange for recurring subscription income on a monthly or annual basis. As a result, they place a higher premium on client retention than on customer acquisition. Subscription business models, in essence, concentrate on revenue generation in such a manner that a single client makes repeated payments for extended access to a product or service. Cable television, internet providers, software suppliers, websites (e.g., blogs), business solutions providers, and financial services companies utilize this approach, as do conventional newspapers, periodicals, and academic publications.

Peer to Peer (P2P):

A peer-to-peer, or P2P, service is a decentralized platform that enables two people to communicate directly, without the need for a third-party intermediary or the usage of a corporation providing a product or service. For example, the buyer and seller do business now via the P2P service. Certain peer-to-peer (P2P) services do not include economic transactions such as buying and selling but instead connect people to collaborate on projects, exchange information, and communicate without the need for an intermediary. The organizing business provides a point of contact for these people, often an online database and communication service. The renting of personal goods, the supply of particular products or services, or the exchange of knowledge and experiences are all examples of transactions.

Easy and low-cost money transfer and payment:

This business model makes money transfers and producing and collecting prices more affordable and accessible to consumers. Sending and receiving the money to pay wages, settle business transactions, paying school fees, or supporting family members is typical for companies and people alike. It necessitates fast, dependable, and cheap money transfer services that enable money to be placed in one location and withdrawn in another in urban and rural regions alike.

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