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Gen Z investment app Alinea raises $3.4 million, plans to launch ‘AI co-pilot’

Alinea Invest, an AI wealth management fintech app aimed at Gen Z women, has $3.4 million in seed funding ahead of the launch of an AI virtual assistant to help users with their investment needs. The fundraising comes after 225,000 downloads of Aline’s app, which led to a revenue rate of $1.8 million, allowing the startup’s six-person team from the New York area to operate profitably.

Founded in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, Alinea was created by its co-founders Anam Lakhani and Eve Halimaas well as the CTO Daniel Nissenbaum who met at Barnard College and Columbia University. Lakhani and Halimi, now co-CEOs, interned on Wall Street but faced a similar pain point when it came to money: They didn’t know how to best invest. This idea led to the creation of a business plan for the app while attending entrepreneurship classes at school. Later, the founders took full-time jobs in investment banking and a growth-stage startup when Covid hit.

The pandemic finally freed up more time for the team to work on their app, so in 2021 they applied to startup accelerator Y Combinator and got in.

“The pain point we’ve seen is that people like us, who are young women, Gen Z, children of immigrants, have no idea where to start. Financial literacy is a huge pain point across the United States,” notes Lakhani. «We wanted to build an alternative platform that was really personalized, taught you how to build your wealth and did it for you.»

Alinea Hallima Eve in Orange and Lakhani Anam/Credit: Alinea Invest

The app, which has been described as «Wealthfront meets Robinhood», was built with the Gen Z audience in mind. This includes a strong focus on accessible design to make investing seem less intimidating. The goal is to attract users who are fresh out of college and getting a job or getting their first paycheck, and then help them automate their portfolio. This differentiates Aline from other female-focused fintech companies, such as Ellevest.

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Many users start with Aline’s automated investing model, but later take advantage of the ability to buy and sell stocks as they become more sophisticated investors.

However, unlike Robinhood and some others, Alinea works on a subscription business model that costs a flat $120 per year.

Another differentiator for Aline is her «playlists». They allow users to create their own live indexes — in a way somewhat similar to curating music on Spotify. Today, Alinea investors have tailored their own ETFs around topics such as climate change, female leadership, AI, fashion and even abortion rights. Every day, users create thousands of playlists, which can also be shared with others.

Image credits: Alinea Invest

The company has so far been successful in gaining users through content marketing, especially on TikTok, where the founders talk about investing and their startup journey. To date, their following has generated more than 100 million views across their hashtags on the short video platform, the founders told TechCrunch.

With a seed round of $3.4 million, Alinea is looking to push further into the AI ​​market by launching an AI financial advisor. While the app already uses a combination of AI and expert advisors to make stock recommendations, the new feature, due out later this year, will offer an interactive way to ask for investment help.

The AI ​​assistant will be linked to the new subscription.

«There’s going to be an extra level, essentially, where it’s going to be like a sort of AI co-pilot — an AI financial advisor that’s going to answer all of your questions … that are very personalized to you,» Halimi notes.

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The AI ​​will consider a variety of factors when answering questions, including the user’s age, risk tolerance, background and more. The team expects to launch the feature around the second or third quarter of this year, they said.

Although competition is high in the fintech space, Alinea believes they can capture a certain demographic – younger, Gen Z investors and mostly women. (80% of application users are women). The average Alinea investor earns $80,000 a year and is about 22 to 24 years old.

He led the new financing F7 ventures and GFR and on Ventures in business life (Bree Kimmel), Fund FoundersX, Gaingelsand co-founder of Dropbox Arash Ferdowsi. Alinea previously raised $2.3 million from Goodwater, Kim Ventures, Harvard, Diaspora and former Robinhood employees. The founders have not added new capital to the board, but plan to invest in further product development, including AI co-pilots, personalization and other educational initiatives.

«Financial literacy and investing is a key path to wealth and financial stability for women and Gen Z,» said Kelly Graziadei, general partner of F7. “We are proud to invest in Eve & Anam as they build AI-powered investments with Aline — making it easier and more accessible than ever for people to invest according to their interests and values. We cannot imagine a better team that would pave the way for a new generation of wealth creation,» she added.

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