Finetech firm Acorns announces $2 billion deal to go public

by TOM BERG

Acorns Grow Inc., an Irvine-based financial services company, intends to go public in a $2 billion deal later this year – furthering Irvine’s reputation as a financial-tech hub.

Acorns helps novice investors create wealth by automatically investing small change from everyday credit and debit card purchases.

Acorns launched in 2014 as a micro-investing app maker and has since added other banking services, attracting more than 4 million subscribers. Investors range from celebrities, including Alex Rodriguez, Jennifer Lopez and Ashton Kutcher, to multinational investment firms BlackRock, NBCUniversal and Comcast Ventures.

“We are putting the tools of wealth-making in everyone’s hands,” says Acorns CEO Noah Kerner. “Going public will introduce many more people to the power of compounding and financial wellness.”

Hubs of innovation

The booming fintech industry is one of several successful tech clusters in Irvine that are creating high-wage STEM jobs that attract extraordinary talent, according to Bryan Starr, president and CEO of the Greater Irvine Chamber.

Edwards Lifesciences has spawned a cluster of medical-device companies, while Allergan has made Irvine “the ophthalmology capital of the world,” Starr says.

Similarly, Irvine is home to a growing number of fintech firms, including Acorns, Americor, Chargezoom, Cyber-Coders, eMerchant and Razer.

“Irvine was master-planned to sustain diverse business sectors and spur innovation,” Starr says. “The financial sector is no exception. As the financial industry has become increasingly technology-driven, Irvine has kept ahead of pace.”

Acorns chose Irvine for its headquarters due to the city’s “wealth of resources that helped turn it into a massive tech hub,” Chief Communications Officer Jessica Schaefer says. “We are happy Irvine has been able to see us successfully grow the Acorns brand over the years.”