Stash: The Mobile App that Changed the Lives of Americans $5 at a Time
The world of finances is shaped by new technology, and fintech (newly developed financial technology) constantly automates, advises, and improves the use and delivery of financial services. The new financial - technology firms aim to help customers with investments, banking, and financial services.
Especially in an environment that is heavily stacked against the everyday American. In true Robin Hood fashion, Brandon Krieg, David Ronick, and Ed Robinson left their high-paying jobs on Wall Street to change the lives of Americans.
Stash is a mobile app that has established a good reputation and can help young investors to buy stocks easily and make other investments. This investing and money management app makes the whole process easy, it is very affordable and can help everyday Americans grow wealth and invest on the market. It is free from complicated financial jargon; by downloading the Stash app you can effectively set up your future financial success without any financial background.
Let’s learn how Stash’s founders, the three fintech revolutionaries, and modern-day Robin Hoods have changed the lives of millions of Americans - $5 at a time.
The Masterminds Behind the Stash App
The executive team that shaped the future of personal finances and revolutionized how people invest and build wealth had a simple mission: to make investments easy, available, and affordable for everyone. The masterminds behind this revolutionary company are David Ronick, Brandon Krieg, and Ed Robinson.
Ed Robinson has deep expertise across various financial disciplines, asset allocation, and equity trading. He attended Sydney University, holds a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce, Finance, Accounting, and Management, and has leveraged his financial background on Wall Street to make the stock market simple and accessible for everyone. Ed always wanted to work overseas. He first moved to London, where he worked at Macquarie Securities Group and helped build Macquarie’s Asian institutional trading desk. Here, Ed met Brandon Krieg - a chance encounter that would later blossom into the revolutionary Stash. Later, he moved to New York, where he worked with a team on developing the bank’s global electronic sales.
Brandon Krieg is the Co-Founder & CEO with 20 years of experience in fintech technology and co-founder of Edge Trade. Goldman Sachs has recognized him as one of 2018’s “100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs. Before co-founding Stash, he worked for 15 years for different financial services, including Macquarie Securities Group.
In July 2016, Brandon co-founded Collective Returns, Inc. and has been its CEO since then. He has always been close to customers and cites this as the key to his success.
Both entrepreneurs have always wanted to create a whole new meaning to “customer first” and boost interest in investing because people were scared to invest and believed investing was just for the privileged few.
David Ronick, an MBA graduate from Harvard Business School, is a co-founder and former CEO of Stash. He is also a Co-founder and CEO of Minded, a consumer telehealth company that makes getting mental health medication easy and affordable. David is a principal mentor at TechStars and a co-Founder of an LP in the Fund.
Apart from the founders, the executive team has other members, all experts in their fields. These include Adriel Lares as CFO, Dale Sperling as CMO, Cliff Hazelton as CTO, Chidi Achara as CBO, Kimberley Meehan as CCO, Lynne Oldham as CPO, Meredith Smith as General Counsel, Garrett Wright as Executive Vice President, Finance.
Stash, An Educative Platform
One of the first goals of the founders when founding Stash was to teach people how to invest, balance a checkbook, and save money. Having spent quite some time on Wall Street, the three founders realized that investing was stacked against the everyday American. Ordinary people couldn't get nearly as much as richer people could simply because they couldn't invest large sums. But that was all about to change with Stash, the company that gave them a fair chance in the world of investing.
Stash was founded in 2015, and the platform is focused on educating users on different financial topics. There are six goals to choose from when you want to choose the investment selection (retirement, budgeting, saving for the unexpected, building wealth, earning stock rewards, and financial advice). Then, you have a Stash's Learn portal, which can help you educate on the goal planning best practices, and Stash's diversification analysis tool, which can help you get further insight into your portfolio allocation.
There are no human advisors to help you with the investment, and the application is digital. The bank account has no minimum balance requirements and no monthly fees. The application can help you track spending, set saving goals, and plan your monthly budget.
The company's research team built the Smart Portfolio, which features a sliding scale to adjust the risk level to your financial situation, goals, and preferences. People can get started with 1$ and build their portfolio with personalized guidance. There's also another helpful feature which is Stash Retire, a retirement account option for investors.
Stash grew rapidly, and in 2017, just two years after the foundation, it had around million users. They now have more than four million users and can also use the Stash debit card in the form of funds and stocks.
But the successes don't stop there. Forbes put Stash on the Forbes Fintech 50 list in 2019, and they were part of the LendIt Fintech Innovator of the Year list. From 2019 to 2021, Stash was chosen for the Best Benefits List and as one of the best midsize companies to work in New York.
Fundraising and Investments
Until now, the company had raised $455 million in 10 rounds, starting from 2015, when it raised $1.5M+ from undisclosed angel investors.
Other investors are Goodwater Capital, Union Square Ventures, and Coatu. In February 2021, the company raised $125M, led by Eldridge, at a $1.3B valuation. In June 2021, they acquired PayGrade, a financial platform for schools that will help parents teach children financial literacy.
The company surpassed unicorn status in early 2021 with its $1.3 billion post-money valuation, and Stash is considering both a SPAC merger and traditional IPO options.
But, to invest is to risk. The key problems for Stash are the market's competitiveness and whether the methods they choose for expansion help them turn a profit and cybersecurity.
Stash tries to find an IPO and will choose between a traditional IPO and a SPAC merger with the help of advisors from Goldman Sachs. The infusion of capital will help Stash capitalize on the post-pandemic trends of people being more aware of their financial futures, and they want to make financial plans more than ever. The attraction of new customers will surely contribute to their growth. Whether planning for retirement, opening custodial accounts, or individual investing, the potential for attracting and retaining Stashers is there.
What the Future Holds for Stash
Stash doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon. It has more than 6 million stashers, $450 in funding, and over 500 employees. They’ve won ever more awards and have been featured in relevant media. The company has several office locations across the United States, and it is still unknown if it will expand its business across other continents. One thing is for sure; prioritizing the customer and providing them with an equal chance to invest and earn, they’ve changed the status quo and the lives of Americans $5 at a time!