Stash Business Model and SWOT Analysis – How Does Stash Make Money?

Overview

Stash targets beginners with the claim of making investment easier and approachable. The users get value-based investment offerings at the price of $1 to $9 a month. Stash will look like just another investment app if you first visit the website, but you will find various features and budgeting tools otherwise unavailable on investment platforms. Stash allows you to manage funds and build savings.

Every Stash account comes with a bank account maintained by Green Dot Bank. The best part is that the bank account does not require a minimum balance, overdraft fees, or any monthly fee.

Company Profile

Here is a brief overview of Stash’s company profile.

Company NameStash / Stash Financial, Inc.
WebsiteStash.com
FoundedFebruary 2015
FounderBrandon Krieg, David Ronick, and Ed Robinson
Key PeopleBrandon Krieg – Co-Founder and CEO, Ed Robinson-Founder and President, Giff Carter – Chief Revenue Officer, Dale Sperling – Chief Marketing Officer, Cliff Hazelton – Chief Technology Officer, Gloria Basem – Chief People Officer
HeadquartersNew York, United States
Company TypePrivate Company
Revenue$100 million (2021)
Key CompetitorsSoluCapital, First Lexington, Coastal Bridge Advisors, Stockspot, Acorns

What is Stash? A Brief History

Stash is a New York-based company that offers financial services through a web platform and mobile apps. The platform is accommodating for beginners where they can invest small amounts. The company has more than 5 million users.

Stash is basically a tax-free investment platform where you can invest in your future by saving money every day. The process is simple and requires little to no effort. You can stash your cash at any time only by pressing a button. Let’s take a look at the history of Stash.

Brandon Krieg, David Ronick, and Ed Robinson co-founded Stash in early 2015. All the three founders of the company already had immense experience in the domain of entrepreneurship and finance even before launching Stash.

The team utilized the initial months in communicating with people and asking them about money management, investment, and saving. They got to know that the general public was interested in investment but considered it a complex process. In February 2015, all three of the founders started working on the app.

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For a head start, the team managed to garner a sum of $1.5 million, all from the family, friends, some investors, and the trio’s own savings.

It was not until October 2015 when Stash was launched on the IOS App Store.

Stash was made available to Android users in March 2016. More than 50,000 people signed up for Stash even before the launch.

How Does Stash Work and What Does it offer?

Coming to the question, how does Stash work? Well, it’s quite a straightforward process. Stash allows you to store small amounts of money from your account linked with the platform. You can start by downloading the free app and then let the company know about the bank card you wish to connect. Stash will set up the investment account for its customers.

From the time of account creation, you can start depositing money. It is an easy-to-use investment app where you can build a successful portfolio. Investing money is considered to be a complicated concept until you get your hands on Stash. Not only will Stash help you grow wealth easier, but you will also learn about investment make more informed decisions.

If you visit the website, you will see that Stash allows you to start investing with as minimum as $5. You can sign up for one of the three subscription plans the company offers to keep you on track. The plans are pretty affordable for a wide range of users. The subscription fee starts at $1 a month and ends at $9 a month.

There are two ways by which you can add money to your Stash account, whether automatically or manually. The platform enables the users to set up direct deposit for either the entire paycheck or the part of it.

Another feature is the automatic budgeting and saving tools. These would help you create goals, organize the money, and track your spending habits.

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In a word, if you are looking for an easy way to invest, Stash may be the best option available for you.

What will you get if you sign up for the platform?

Once you start using Stash, it will offer educational support to you along with various fractional shares. It also provides numerous value-based investment opportunities.

By signing up to the platform, you get access to the

  • Brokerage account
  • Stash’s online bank account
  • Debit card with a rewards program

Stash Business Model

Stash is a FinTech organization offering numerous financial products to American investors. The company’s business model depends on the memberships, cashback, interest on accounts, and payment for order flows.

It works on the referral fees, memberships, and returns held by cardholders. Three different tiers for the subscription form a source of money as they provide various benefits to the users.

Stash Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

Investors who are relatively new and want guidance while selecting investments should opt for Stash since it will ease some of the worries related to investments. It offers its plan at a lower price point of $1, enabling you to buy shares and funds.

The best part is that you are not even required to have a minimum investment to get started. Stash Smart Portfolio will also be made accessible to you once you sign up for any of the three plans.

How Does Stash Make Money?

Stash makes money through subscription fees for three of the plans Stash offers. These three plans include

  • Stash Beginner
  • Stash Growth
  • Stash+

Each of the above plans offers a different set of services and thus demands a different fee range. These plans provide the users with investment advice individualized for each investor. Users get custodial accounts and cashback rewards.

Another way of earning for Stash is payment for order flow. This is a slightly controversial payment but is used by almost all modern online brokerage. Stash, in this case, routes the orders to the market maker and, in turn, gets compensated for binging in deal flow.

There are various cashback rewards in the platform which create money for Stash. The customers who utilize the Stock-back card to make purchases at Stash receive incentives in the form of cashback. If you are the customer, you can expect to earn up to 5% in stock rewards.

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The use of a Stock-back card allows Stash to earn money as it happens with any other reward program.

The company also earns from interest on the cash, also known as net interest margin. Stats claim that the United States banks had a net interest margin of 3.35 as of 2019.

SWOT Analysis of Stash

Stash aims at increasing the new investor’s financial literacy. Here is the SWOT analysis of Stash to walk you through the crucial aspects of the company.

Strengths

  • Stash offers an affordable plan for beginners and eases their worries
  • It does not require minimum investment from the users to get started
  • You can access Stash Smart Portfolio, a Rob-advisor, upon subscribing to any of the subscription plans from Stash Growth, Stash+, or Stash Portfolio.
  • According to Forbes, Stash has a deep-level customer understanding, allowing the company to onboard more customers and raise more money
  • The firm has nearly $2 billion AUM (assets under management)
  • As we write, more than 5 million Americans have registered to Stash
  • The platform has hired more than 300 employees in its three offices in the US and the UK
  • Not only in investments, but Stash is also contributing to educating the users through tutorials, guides, and customized advice and producing various investment products like ETFs
  • The financial products are tailored to the customer’s needs
  • The portfolio suggestions you will find at Stash will match your risk level
  • Stash does not demand any trade fees or commissions
  • Among its competitors, Stash has more flexibility if you are looking to invest because you can invest in hundreds of your individual stocks through ETFs (exchange-traded funds)

Weaknesses

  • The features you get from Stash’s $1 monthly plan can be found on other websites for free
  • Stash’s debit card offers Stock-Back, which are not really the cashback the other credit cards offer
  • The user interface is difficult to understand
  • The Stash Plus program is priced monthly at $9, which is considered to be overly priced by many of its users
  • Investing in ETFs (exchange-traded funds) can cost you higher than you expect, so it is better to do your homework before making the move
  • Stash does not offer any wealth management services

Opportunities

  • Coronavirus provided the company with the opportunity to grow the business exponentially
  • Customers have started investing a substantial amount of money into stocks which are fueling the company’s growth

Threats

  • Acorns, one of Stash’s biggest competitors, provide similar subscription plans
  • Acorns provide free membership for college students, which can contribute to its popularity among the masses
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