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Acorns planting seeds in Southeast Asia

DigFin reported Australian micro-investment app Acorns planned to go up the value chain. It turns out it has additional plans.



Acorns Grow, an Australian micro-investing app that DigFin reported was looking to go up the value chain in its home market, is now planning to expand into Southeast Asia.

According to George Lucas, CEO of Acorns Grow Australia, the company plans to enter two markets by next year. He expects these markets will enable the company to add over 10 million customers – well up from the 150,000 it currently enjoys in Australia (population 24 million).

“We will modify Acorns for each market,” said Lucas, declining to specify the countries. There are existing competitors in these places, “but we provide good products”.

The company intends to launch a chatbot next spring to provide basic account query services to its Australian app users.

Since its launch, Acorns has been growing fast due to its incredibly low cost of customer acquisition, which Lucas says is 3% of a bank’s cost to on-board a new depositor. Acorns targets millennials with Facebook advertising and enables the young to invest in a range of ETF-driven portfolios with a minimum value of $A5.

The company’s 150,000 Australian users is double the number it had when Lucas spoke with DigFin in April. He says the company should break even early next year.

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