Dec. 18, 2023, Repost and expanded from 2023 Forbes 30 Under 30 and Business Insider - After interning at Goldman Sachs, Eve Halimi and Anam Lakhani realized the need for a female-focused investing app to guide women on making investments and managing their wealth. So Alinea was born: an AI-based investing app used by about 200,000 women, Gen Z'ers and beginners. The app has also gone viral on TikTok, including when one user created a list of stocks of companies that supported abortions after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. With $3.3 million in venture capital from Goodwater Capital and Y Combinator, Alinea Invest expects to book $1.2 million by the end of 2023.
Alinea was founded in 2021. The 25-year-old cofounders were clear they aren't trying to build the next Robinhood. "We're definitely not a platform for day trading," one of the founders, Anam Lakhani. Alinea aims to help first-time investors build financial knowledge and develop a sense of community as they enter the world of investing, rather than focus on daily market ups and downs or the latest hot stock pick.
When new users join the app, they take a quiz that offers tailored recommendations based on a user's interests and risk profile. Users can also create investment "playlists," which the founders compare to building a custom investment portfolio, by bundling a collection of stocks that reflect a theme, such as companies working to address climate change, or a particular investment strategy — one of the app's most popular playlists is a collection of Warren Buffet's top stock picks.
Since the app's launch, 73% of Alinea users have remained active after three months. Halimi credits the retention of users to the community that has developed through Alinea webinars and "ask me anything" sessions, as well as a Slack workspace users can connect on. The cofounders plan to continue to develop both the community and educational aspects of the app by producing short-form video content that will break down financial topics for users seeking to build their knowledge.
"The reason a lot of retail investors feel discouraged is they go onto platforms like Robinhood — you get a stock, that's where most of your money is, and you don't do well, and you feel incredibly discouraged," Lakhani said. "And so from the get-go, we want our community to be an inclusive environment and also a place where you can make healthy financial decisions."
Alinea has since launched $10 per month premium subscription which includes insights and research from financial experts, as well as content, playlists, and updates. Other forthcoming updates include a social feed, commenting and messaging features, and a debit card that offers users stock-back rewards. The growth was propelled by Alinea's $2.1 million seed round announced in 2021.
Alinea gives1st time GenZ investors a jumpstart
Alinea platform lets the 1st time GenZ investors start investing with a grounded approach, looking at the companies they shop at and use products such as Apple. They are big on investing in the S&P 500. It's something they really push to their users. Alinea makes it easy for their users to create investing playlists, portfolios based on an individual's risk tolerance and interests.
An investing playlist is a collection of investments. It can be stocks, ETFs, crypto, bonds, et cetera that investors can bundle up together and allocate different weights to each other. Alinea users can invest in up to 10,000 investments in one click with as little as a few hundred dollars. GenZ investors can diversify their investments from the get-go when they get on the app. To many GenZ retail investors, Alinea gives them a nice jumpstart.
Alinea won the Smart Money Awards by Real Simple in 2022 as one of the Best Financial Services and Apps. Alinea enables users to reflect their values with their stock choices. The best-performing funds usually include diverse stocks, but with a traditional mutual fund, investors may be buying into some corporate values you don't love. With Alinea, investors can choose a group of stocks with a theme, like companies that fight climate change, so they can diversify their portfolio while investing in companies their beliefs align with. That really resonate with GenZ investors.