How to Build a Successful Investment App like Acorns? A Step by Step Guide

The digital era combined with the advancement in technology has disrupted the finance and banking industry. Transactions that took days to complete can be done within minutes with the use of modern technology.

Apple’s “There’s an app for everything” has come true for the finance industry as well. Whether you want to send or receive money, conduct transactions or invest in the stock market, you have an app that will help you perform the task.

It is not just the consumer, who is benefitting from modern technology, but also the banker. Customer relationship building is no longer a stressful job. You can assist your customers in real-time with technology, thus making them comfortable with your bank or finance company.

There is a major segment of the finance industry that no one has touched as yet, the stock and investment segment. Investing in stocks using the stock trading app can be quite risky, and identifying the right agent to help you with the stocks can be difficult. Acorns, a micro-investing app, helps people make the right investment and earn profits. Whether you are an investor or a naïve investor, this app will help you.

Recently, Acorns Australia has finalized the deal and signed an agreement with the leading spot exchange operator for environmental commodity markets, CBL Markets that bring carbon offsetting to the mobile-first investment platform.

According to the latest news from, Acorns has secured a huge round of funding. This week, the company has raised a $105 million in Series E round of funding. This funding amount led by Comcast Ventures, NBCUniversal, and several private equity firms.

Before moving on to understand how you can develop an app like Acorns, let’s understand how this app works.

Acorns: How it works?

Acorns is your financial service app that helps you invest your money. This app allows you to connect as many debit/credit cards with the app’s account as you want. With each transaction that occurs from these cards, the app rounds off the amount, and save the change within the app’s account.

So, if you are making a purchase of $6.75, Acorns investing app will record it as $7 spent, and the change will be stored in the app’s account. This change is then used for investment.

As an Acorns user, you can set up monthly or daily deposits for investment, Other ways of earning money include referrals and cash back. Acorns is one of the best money saving apps that makes you earn money for every penny spent. According to the latest report, “The investment app, Acorns has already hit 3.5 million app users, and see 100,000 sign-ups for retirement product for its first month.”

In case of investment, the app has an investment portfolio, which contains six ETF (Exchange Traded Fund), which include emerging markets, small-cap as well as real estate, among others. You can choose the type of investment you wish to make from the invest/withdraw screen of the app. At the start of using the app, you need to set your portfolio, thus helping the app owners to conduct your investments.

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To use the services provided by the app, you need to pay $1 per month, which may seem a lot but, when you weigh it against the gains you get, it is probably nothing. Your returns are definitely higher than the investment you have made in this case.

Step-by-step Guide to Building Investment Apps like Acorns

  1. Planning

    This is the first step towards building your Acorns like app. You need to plan out the financial services you want to offer and the risks you are willing to take. You might want to consult your financial advisor for the same. At this point, you will also need to choose the ETFs that you want to include in your app.

  2. Initiation

    This is where you will start working on robot advisors and the actual mapping of the app, as in how it will work. In the offline world, there are stockbrokers who help people invest their money.

    But, how does the same thing work in the online world? There are robot advisors who are connected to the servers and possess the ability to handle the money. There are gateways within the systems that are used to transfer market information to the trading system.

    This is when you build the entire system on sketches, and ensure each part of the system works efficiently.

  3. Integrate the Features

    When you are developing the system, you need to make a list of all the must-have features. Here, we will take you through a few.

    • An SSL certificate is a must as you need to make sure no fraudulent practices occur while using the app
    • Incorporate 256-bit encryption for the account
    • Add a two-factor authentication to it for secure login and secure services
    • Allow users to choose the investment options
    • Include two accounts- roundup and settlement for ease of usability
    • Include a financial planner, and a virtual trainer to your app
  4. Work on the Business Model

    Acorns ask users to pay up $1 per month to use the services. This is the main earning model for the business. Apart from that, it also allows users to earn through referrals and pockets some commission in the trade.

    At the point of developing an app like Acorns, you need to plan your business model. What are your charges? How much would you like to get through commission?

  5. Development & Testing

    Once you have mapped all the features and sketched the outline for the app, you are ready to develop the app. It is prudent to test the app before you go live with it. This allows you to remove the bugs, if any, from the app. It is easy to work on an app like Acorns for investment.

How much does it cost to develop an investment app like Acorns?

Now, you might have a question in your mind – how much does it cost to make an app like Acorns or we can say acorn investment app. To give the basic estimation of an app like Acorns, we met with one of our business analysts, who spent 2 to 3 hrs. on the app and crafted the important features of an ideal investment app like Acorns.

In the below-given table, you can check-out the essential features of one of the best investment apps Acorns:

Sr. No.Common features of Investment App like Acorns
2Registration & Login
3Automatic Investment from Purchasing
4Recurring Investment Daily, Weekly & Monthly
5Link Unlimited Cards
6Transferring & Withdrawing Money Anytime
7Latest News & Updates of Investors & Finance Experts
8Push Notifications

The basic cost of developing one of the best investing apps like Acorns with the above-given features is around $24750 from any leading mobile app development company. However, if you want to know the exact cost of personal finance app, you can hire our team for mobile app development and let us know your Acorns investment app idea and requirements. Tell us what features do you want to include in your top investing app or acorns stock app and our business team will get back to you with the exact development cost for investment apps for iPhone. Consulting our business team is totally free! 

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Author Bio
Bhaval Patel
Bhaval Patel
Designation: Director (Operations)

Bhaval Patel is the Director (Operations) at Space-O Technologies. He has over 20 years of experience in business management and sales. He has expertise in taxi booking app solutions and on-demand applications. Under his guidance, Space-O has developed 50+ Uber-like taxi apps on both iOS and Android platforms.