Aspiration is an American financial services company that specializes in investment tools for the middle class and touts a commitment to trust between its clients and investment team. The company, which launched in Los Angeles in 2014, offers three products: a mutual fund that invests in companies that employ sustainable practices; a long-term growth strategy mutual fund; and a high-yield checking account that comes with a 1% annual percentage yield and free ATM access worldwide. Aspiration also offers a pay-as-you-wish model that lets customers pay the Aspiration team whatever fee they deem fair. The company promises to donate 10% of its revenue to charity. The "Do Well, Do Good" motto seems to be working: More than 90% of the company's tens of thousands of clients opt to pay Aspiration to manage their money (rather than go for the $0 fee). In return, the company deploys investment savvy on its clients' behalf that it says was once only available to the wealthiest Americans. In 2015, the company raised $15.5 million in funding. Next up, it will try to take on the big investment firms with its do-good model.
The company's competitive advantage in 2016:
Its buzzed-about model
The biggest challenges standing in this company's way in 2016:
The competition of much bigger sites in the space
What to look out for:
Expanded account offerings, including joint accounts, IRAs, and more
Social media handles: