PayPal is better known as a digital payments service for buying things through eBay and a multitude of online and offline retail channels, but the company has today announced a number of integrations with popular microinvestment platform Acorns.
Acorns, for the uninitiated, makes it easy for consumers to invest their spare change by rounding up their purchases — they connect their bank cards to their Acorns account, and for every purchase thereafter Acorns will invest the difference between the cost of a transaction and the nearest dollar. Users can also set up recurring investments or make a one-time payment of up to $50,000 that will be invested on their behalf.
The point of Acorns ultimately is to take the hassle out of investing for people who don’t have the knowledge or interest to delve into the specifics of where to invest their money: They trust Acorns to invest wisely.
PayPal actually led Acorns’ $70 million series D round last year, and shortly afterward PayPal was quietly added as a payment option for “round up” investments on all PayPal purchases, in addition to bank cards. But from today, PayPal can be used to fund an Acorns account, meaning it now covers recurring or one-off investments too.
Moreover, PayPal users will also now be able to monitor and manage their Acorns investments directly through the PayPal app.
The new integrations are opening to “select” PayPal customers in the U.S. from today, though it will open to everyone in the U.S. in early 2018.
A number of similar platforms have launched in recent years, designed to make investing a user-friendly experience — and these companies are attracting big-name backers in their droves. Palo Alto-based Robinhood has raised north of $170 million in funding, including a $110 million round back in April, while New York-based Stash has nabbed around $80 million in venture financing. And a couple of months back, San Francisco’s Stockpile took its total funding to $45 million.
Today’s news comes just a couple of weeks after Acorns made its first acquisition, snapping up Portland-based Vault — a company that allows its users to invest parts of their paychecks into a retirement fund.