Acorns Is A Micro-Investment App That Does All The Thinking For You

TechCrunch

Investing for the future can be hard for a twenty-something. With restrictions like minimum account balances and commission fees that make it uneconomical to invest a few hundred bucks at a time, investing can almost feel impossible.

Until today. Acorns is officially launching on the App Store to help anyone invest right from their smartphone.

Acorns works by letting you connect your credit or debit cards (with a simple sign-up using your online bank credentials), and automatically rounds up the change from every purchase to add to your investment portfolio. You can choose between five different risk options, from aggressive to conservative, and watch how your investments are performing over time.

At any time, you can make a deposit into your investment account and/or switch around the risk profile of your portfolio to be more or less aggressive. All of the five different portfolios are compiled by a team of…

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Inception  It all started when Kevin Systrom was working at Nextstop, in marketing. That’s right, marketing! He had neither a formal engineering degree nor any programming skills. He started doing mash-up projects in the evenings and learnt programming in the nights. Pretty soon, his determination and will made him program a mash-up of foursquare and mafia-wars that he called “Burbn”. Burbn is the pre-cursor of today’s Instagram.

Inception
It all started when Kevin Systrom was working at Nextstop, in marketing. That’s right, marketing! He had neither a formal engineering degree nor any programming skills. He started doing mash-up projects in the evenings and learnt programming in the nights. Pretty soon, his determination and will made him program a mash-up of foursquare and mafia-wars that he called “Burbn”. Burbn is the pre-cursor of today’s Instagram.

What are anonymous companies?

TED Blog

[ted_talkteaser id=1949]At TED2014, Charmian Gooch made the TED Prize wish to launch a new era of openness in business and end the phenomenon of anonymous companies. “Anonymous companies are making it difficult, and sometimes impossible, to find the actual human beings responsible for really bad crimes,” she said.

So how do anonymous companies work? This infographic explains the basics. For a deeper analysis, check out the Global Witness report “Poverty, Corruption and Anonymous Companies.”

End-Anonymous-Companies_smallWatch a video from Global Witness on the issue »

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How Modern Marketplaces Like Uber And Airbnb Build Trust To Achieve Liquidity

TechCrunch

Editor’s note: Anand Iyer is the Head of Product at Threadflip. Previously, he was co-founder and CTO of Hitpost, acquired by Yahoo, and managed product at IGN Entertainment and Microsoft. This post also ran on First Round Review. Follow him on Twitter.

In 2009, Airbnb was close to going bust with revenue flatlining at $200 a week. Since then, over 9 million people have used it to find temporary housing. Etsy was founded almost a decade ago, but doubled its valuation with its last two rounds of funding.

The gradual but ultimately huge success of these entrants to the marketplace space has paved the way for Uber and Lyft’s breakout growth, and the explosion in startups with marketplace models: PostmatesGetaroundTaskRabbit, and more — quickly eclipsing the old guard represented by Craigslist.

Marketplace startups are unique because they aren’t just serving one base…

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