A simple way to build an investment portfolio from rounding-up the change on your purchases.

 Role: Co-Founder & Product Designer

Fintech Startup 0-1

I started Acorns with my partner Walter Cruttenden and his son Jeff in 2010. The goal was to disrupt the barrier to entry and make it easier for everyday people to invest into a diversified portfolio.

I explored all the facets of transactional data and was very fortunate to find a company called Yodlee and at the time it was one of our golden eggs for the business model to work. I signed us up and begin working with our Engineering team to architect an experience for how a user would securely connect to their bank from our Acorns web / mobile application and allow us to see their real-time transactional data from and credit / debit card purchase.

We then worked with a patent lawyer to parent our process for round-ups into ETF’s and other electronically traded funds.

Systems and methods for managing consumer transaction-based investments

View Patent

Creating Acorns Brand

When I joined the startup, I wore many hats to help craft our strategy and direction. Taking on branding and helping demo our product in the market was only part of it.

I worked closely with the team to devise a go-to-market strategy that would ensure we had staying power in our respective industry. Working collaboratively with multiple stakeholders enabled us to quickly make strides towards our vision for the startup.

Creating Acorns Product

I created the initial product flows for the Acorns which included the boarding process and personal data collection to connect their bank, investment portfolio graphs, and the entire round-up the change experience using their banking transactions data.

My challenge as a startup founder was to create the initial product flows for our business. I worked on creating the onboarding process and personal data collection system that would securely connect customers’ bank accounts, investment portfolios, and more. We needed to develop an effective round-up the change experience utilizing banking transaction data. The result? An efficient startup built on providing a secure financial experience for customers. It was a great success!

View Launch Experience Wireframes

Acorns 2.0

After being on the market for 18 months, it was time to release the latest version of the app. All the same features, but a complete re-skin and design system implementation that would allow the app to scale and meet our next company milestone for brand awareness and user acquisition.

Exploring Future Ideas

After exploring the main feature of rounding up change from purchases, I went one step further to research other concepts that could help further incentivize a more conscious spending routine.

Diving in deeper, I was able to identify numerous ways for a user to take advantage of simple every day activities so that they can save, ranging from preferred payment methods, join discount program memberships, or simply be aware of their shopping habits. With these innovative solutions, the startup is well-equipped with the goal of helping consumers allocate their finances better while also teaching them practical money management skills.