Acorns buys kid-centric GoHenry

Acorns, the American micro-investing platform, has acquired digital banking startup GoHenry for an undisclosed sum, as it looks to expand its offering and enter the European market. Founded in 2012, GoHenry offers a spending card and money management app for children aged six to 18, with parents able to track transactions in real time and set spending limits or savings goals. GoHenry charges parents a monthly subscription for its service, which includes the ability to set up paid chores and parental controls.

Acorns CEO and co-founder, Noah Kerner, stated that the acquisition was not affected by current market conditions but was based on a long-standing interest in financial wellbeing for families. Acorns Early, an investment account for kids, was launched in 2020. Acorns has been looking at more than 100 deals globally before acquiring GoHenry. Its interest in the company was buoyed by GoHenry’s $55m cash infusion last year and its buyout of rival firm PixPay in France, according to Kerner.

By buying GoHenry, Acorns will now have access to Europe, a market that is less advanced when it comes to retail investing. GoHenry has operations in the UK, France, Spain and the US. Kerner and GoHenry co-founder Louise Hill would not comment on the price of the transaction, however Kerner said it represented a good deal for GoHenry and its shareholders. The acquisition signals a major growth bet for Acorns, which has up until now only been available in the US.

Prior to its acquisition by Acorns, GoHenry raised a total of $121.2m from investors including Edison Partners, Gaia Capital Partners, Citi Ventures, and Muse Capital. However, the company has faced competition from rival firms with their own child-focused offerings, including Revolut which launched its own account for kids in 2020, and established banks like NatWest. Despite this, the acquisition marks an important milestone for Acorns, which was valued at $1.9bn last year and has a combined 6 million subscribers after the GoHenry acquisition. Acorns is currently losing money, but Kerner stated that the company’s goal is to become a profitable entity.

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