, a fintech app targeting Gen Z women with AI-powered wealth management, has secured $3.4 million in seed funding as it prepares to launch a virtual AI assistant to aid users in their investment needs. With 225,000 downloads and a revenue run-rate of $1.8 million, the New York-based startup’s six-person team has already achieved profitability.
The app was founded during the Covid-19 pandemic by co-founders Anam Lakhani and Eve Halimi, along with CTO Daniel Nissenbaum, who all met at Barnard College and Columbia University. As former Wall Street interns, Lakhani and Halimi recognized the lack of knowledge and guidance when it came to investing, leading them to develop a business plan for an app while taking an entrepreneurship class. After briefly working in investment banking and at a growth stage startup, the founders turned their focus to Alinea full-time when the pandemic provided them with more time to work on their idea.
Following the successful application to startup accelerator Y Combinator in 2021, Alinea was on its way.
- “The pain point we saw is that…financial literacy is a massive pain point…we wanted to build an alternate platform that was really personalized, taught you how to build your wealth, and did it for you.” noted Lakhani.
The app, described as “Wealthfront meets Robinhood”, caters specifically to Gen Z with a focus on approachable design to ease the intimidation of investing. The aim is to attract users as they enter the workforce or receive their first paychecks and assist them in automating their portfolio. This sets Alinea apart from other female-focused fintechs like Ellevest.
While many users start with Alinea’s automated investing model, the option to buy and sell stocks is also available as they become more experienced investors. However, unlike Robinhood and some others, Alinea operates on a subscription-based model, costing a flat $120 per year.
Another unique feature of Alinea is the ability for users to create and share customized “playlists” of direct indexes, similar to curating music on Spotify. Themes for these playlists range from climate change and female leadership to AI, fashion, and even abortion rights. With thousands of playlists created daily, Alinea has successfully leveraged content marketing, particularly on TikTok, where the founders share tips and insights about investing and their startup journey to their over 100 million views across their hashtags on the platform.
Powered by a combination of AI and expert advisors, Alinea’s stock recommendations are now taking a step further with the upcoming launch of an AI financial advisor, available through an additional subscription tier.
“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,”
The AI will consider various factors such as age, risk tolerance, and past track record to provide personalized answers and advice. This new feature is expected to launch in Q2 or Q3 of this year.
Despite competition in the fintech industry, Alinea is confident in its ability to target a specific demographic – young Gen Z investors, particularly women (80% of users) with an average income of $80,000 and an age range of 22 to 24.
The recent seed funding of $3.4 million was led by F7 Ventures and GFR and included investors like Worklife Ventures (Bri Kimmel), FoundersX Fund, Gaingels, and Dropbox co-founder Arash Ferdowsi. This funding will be used to further develop the app, including the AI copilot, personalization, and educational initiatives.
“Financial literacy and investing is crucial for wealth and financial stability, especially for women and Gen Z,” said Kelly Graziadei, General Partner at F7 Ventures. “We are proud to invest in Eve & Anam and their AI-powered investing app, Alinea. They are making investing more accessible and user-friendly, based on personal interests and values. With this team at the helm, they are creating a path to a new generation of wealth creation,” she added.