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Capitalizing on millennial appeal, Stash raises $40M

Stash, a startup aiming to introduce investing to ordinary Americans, has raised $40 million in Series C funding, it announced on Thursday.

Stash intends to use the new capital to improve its data analytics and other technology while building more personalization and educational tools into its platform.

As part of a new wave of financial management and microinvesting apps that are making inroads even with nontraditional investors, the startup has grown rapidly in the past several months. Of its more than 850,000 users, nearly two-thirds joined the platform in 2017.

Some 86% of Stash users are first-time investors, bolstering the company's claim that it is making investing more accessible for average people. Stash also offers a financial education platform, dubbed Learn, which has 1.5 million subscribers.

"When it comes to investing, too many Americans are standing on the sidelines because they're unsure where and how to begin," Brandon Krieg, Stash's co-founder and CEO, said in a news release. "We believe anyone can become an effective investor with the right tools and education."

Stash is competing against robo advisers such as Wealthfront and Betterment as well as other microinvesting apps, chiefly Acorns, which is backed by PayPal. Stash lets users get started with as little as $5. They can select from more than 35 investments based on their interests and goals.

The company plans to expand into retirement planning later this summer with the launch of Stash Retire, a new platform for mobile devices.

Along with three prior investors, the Series C round was led by Coatue Management, which has a stake in Snap, the parent company of Snapchat, and Didi Chuxing, the Chinese answer to Uber.

Last year, Stash raised $9.25 million in a Series A and $25 million in a Series B round. It has raised a total of $78.75 million in less than two years from Breyer Capital, Goodwater Capital, Valar Ventures, Entree Capital and Coatue.

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