Image Attributes: Alinea Invest
Alinea Invest, a fintech app providing AI-powered wealth management geared towards Gen Z women, has $3.4 million in seed funding before introducing a virtual AI assistant that will assist users with their investing requirements. The capital comes after 225,000 downloads of Alinea’s app, leading to a revenue run-rate of $1.8 million, allowing the New York area startup’s six-person team to operate profitably.
Lakhani and Halimi, currently co-CEOs, formerly interned on Wall Street but experienced a similar issue when it came to money: they did not know how to best invest. This concept led to the creation of a business plan for an application while taking an entrepreneurship class at school. Later, the founders pursued full-time jobs in investment banking and at a growth stage startup when Covid hit.
The pandemic ultimately freed up more time for the team to work on their app, so they applied to startup accelerator Y Combinator in 2021 and were accepted.
“The issue we noticed is that people like us who are young women, Gen Zs, children of immigrants, they have no idea where to start. Financial literacy is a massive issue across the United States,” said Lakhani. “We wanted to build an alternate platform that was really personalized, taught you how to build your wealth, and did it for you.”
The application, termed as a “Wealthfront meets Robinhood,” is constructed with a Gen Z audience in mind. This includes a heavy emphasis on an inviting design to make investing appear less daunting. The objective is to allure users as they’re just departing college and entering the workforce or getting their first payslips, then assisting them with automating their portfolio. This separates Alinea from other female-focused fintechs, such as Ellevest.
Many users initially use Alinea’s automated investing model, but later utilize the option to purchase and sell stocks as they become more experienced investors.
However, in contrast to Robinhood and some others, Alinea runs on a subscription business model that costs a fixed $120 per year.
Another contrasting factor for Alinea are its “playlists.” These allow users to establish their own direct indexes — in a way that’s to some extent similar to curating music on Spotify. At present, Alinea investors have customized their own ETFs around themes like climate change, female leadership, AI, fashion, and even abortion rights. On a daily basis, users create thousands of playlists, which can then be shared with others.
The company has found success acquiring users through content marketing, particularly on TikTok, where the founders discuss investing and their startup journey. Their following has led to over 100 million views across their hashtags on the short video platform, the founders told TechCrunch.
With the seed round of $3.4 million, Alinea seeks to delve further into the AI market with the release of an AI financial advisor. While the app already utilizes a combination of AI and expert advisors to make stock recommendations, the new feature, due out later this year, will provide an interactive way to request investing assistance.
The AI helper will be included in a new subscription.
“There will be an additional upscale tier, essentially, where it will be like a sort of AI copilot — an AI financial advisor that will answer all your questions…that are very personalized to you,” Halimi noted.
The AI will consider a variety of factors when answering questions, including the user’s age, risk tolerance, past track record, and more. The team expects to launch the feature around Q2 or Q3 this year, they said.
Although competition is strong in the fintech sector, Alinea believes they can appeal to a particular demographic — the younger, Gen Z investor, and primarily women. (80% of the app’s users are women). The average Alinea investor makes $80,000 per year and is around 22 to 24 years old.
The new funding was spearheaded by F7 Ventures and GFR and included Worklife Ventures (Bri Kimmel), FoundersX Fund, Gaingels, and Dropbox co-founder Arash Ferdowsi. Previously, Alinea had raised a $2.3 million pre-seed round from Goodwater, Kima Ventures, Harvard, Diaspora, and ex-Robinhood employees. The founders have not added to the board with the new capital, but rather plan to invest in further product development, including the AI copilot, personalization, and other educational initiatives.
“Financial literacy and investing is a crucial path to wealth and financial stability for women and Gen Z,” said Kelly Graziadei, F7 General Partner. “We are proud to invest in Eve & Anam as they build AI-powered investing with Alinea — making it easier and more accessible than ever for people to invest according to their interests and values. We can’t think of a better team to open up the path to a new generation of wealth creation,” she added.