Acorns co-founder raises $20m for embedded finance platform

Investment platform Acorns’ co-founder Walter Cruttenden has raised $20 million for an embedded finance platform, Ant Money.

The Series A financing was led by Franklin Templeton's Franklin Venture Partners, Walter Cruttenden, RX3 Ventures, SteelBridge Laboratories, and Steelpoint Capital Partners.

In conjunction with the merger, Ant Money also finalised the acquisition of gaming-based saving account Blast via a stock-for-stock merger.

The Ant Money (ATM) app is designed to help users generate micro-income that is then invested in the stock market through Ant Money Advisors, an embedded US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) registered investment advisor.

"Ant Money and Blast had similar visions for helping people enter the financial investment world as well as overlapping management, and as we began working together and embedding the Ant Money investment platform into the ATM app, and the Blast Gaming and Learn and Earn apps, it seemed like the logical next step was to merge the companies and build a larger one together," said Michael Gleason, chief executive at Ant Money.

James Cross, managing director of Franklin Templeton's Franklin Venture Partners, said: "Embedding investment functionality into apps that already pay users rewards or other incentives is a fantastic way to help young investors get started, and an innovative way for Ant Money to build a large customer base with relatively low customer acquisition costs. We are excited to be supporting the growth of this dynamic company."

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