- A new investing app called Alinea is targeting Gen Z women with familiar terms and design.
- The Y Combinator-backed startup already has thousands of users, most of whom are young females.
- Users can now also buy and sell more than 20 cryptocurrencies.
Forget Robinhood — a new investing app is chasing after Gen Z women with Instagram-like stories and Spotify-esque playlists.
Alinea, founded by 25-year-olds Anam Lakhani and Eve Halimi in March 2021, is the latest app targeting young investors. The Y-Combinator-backed startup, which recently raised $2.1 million in seed funding, already has thousands of mostly female users on the site. Its aim is to raise the next generation of investors using familiar terms, like "playlists" and "stories," and an attractive design.
And it does just that.
Upon opening the app for the first time, a bright purple screen — a colorful design akin to hit social app TikTok — greets users with the phrase: "Investing for the next gen." At the top of the home page are a series of "stories," similar to Instagram, that cover a range of topics like news, crypto, and strategies. And yes, the app is teeming with emojis.
"Design was such a vital part of this," Lakhani said. She said a user's first reaction is often, "This feels familiar. I've seen something like this before. I can approach this. This doesn't feel technical or scary, or I don't have to be an expert."
Users can take a personalized quiz, asking about their "investing personality" — like if they want to invest in female-founded companies, climate-focused firms or black-empowered businesses. After the quiz generates a personalized basket of stocks dubbed a "playlist," users can search playlists created by others, including their friends. Some that pop up include the timely "WW III hedge," the hilarious "Just Buy This Trust Me," and the trendy "crypto."
Buying and selling cryptocurrencies – digital assets like bitcoin and ethereum that are built on a blockchain — is brand new to the app. Users can now invest in more than 20 digital currencies and create crypto playlists to diversify their investments. The feature also locks in Alinea's revenue stream. Instead of user fees or the controversial payment-for-order-flow method that came under scrutiny last year, Alinea charges a 1% spread on crypto trades.
Lakhani and Halimi, who met in an economics class at Columbia University, said they noticed a dearth of women not only in investing, but especially in crypto. With Alinea, they said their vision is to bring in and educate people, especially young women, who have been left behind when it comes to investing.
"Investing has become mainstream," Halimi told Insider in an interview. But, "right now all the news is about meme stocks and get-rich-quick. We want the next generation to know that investing should be a part of your wellness, your financial wellness, and it should be something you should be doing regularly and responsibly."