Stack App Aims to Get Teens Involved in Crypto, Safely

Today marks the launch of “the first crypto education and trading app for teens and their parents,” which hopes to compete with Robinhood and Coinbase.

Stack is designed with Gen Z in mind, as they are the generation that will grow up with, and most likely own, digital assets, according to Will Rush, who co-founded the company with Natalie Young and Angela Mascarenas in 2021. 

Rush had been inspired to launch the project based on his time spent teaching children about investing in a previous job. While he was there, he found that replacing the word “stock” with “crypto” generated more engagement. 

Rush also read Reddit posts detailing teenagers’ efforts to use their parent’s credentials to purchase crypto through Robinhood or Coinbase, only to have the accounts frozen for being underage.

“Clearly this was a thesis that no one was taking a trailblazing effort on,” Rush said. “How do we be the good guys and create a safe and educational ecosystem?”

Legacy competition

In order to compete with legacy competitors such as Coinbase and Robinhood, Rush believes Stack distinguishes itself by offering a trading environment specifically designed for teens.

In addition to providing crypto educational material, users can also earn rewards as they learn, which could include a free subscription to the app, which will start at $3 per month after a six-month free trial period.

The platform will only offer a limited number of assets in order to protect its users, Rush said. They include seven cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Cardano. He also believes that prohibiting the transfer of assets off the platform “will cut down on up to 98% of the cryptocurrency fraud and scams that plague exchanges.”

Additional features for adolescent first-time crypto buyers include access to the tax and control advantages of a Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (UTMA) account, as well as assets automatically transferring into their names upon reaching legal adulthood at 18.

Stack plans for the future

Following a $2.7 million investment round from Madrona, The Venture Collective, Santa Clara Ventures and a group of angel and individual investors – giving the project just over $3 million in total funding to date – the app launches with more than 6,000 users already on the waitlist.

Stack plans to use the capital infusion to raise its headcount from eight to 10 this year, as well as gain more financial licenses and expand its offerings, such as continuing to build out its app and its high school-focused financial literacy program. 

Rush said the company would undergo “a more thoughtful overhaul of its educational content,” creating compelling financial content optimized for popular platforms like TikTok and YouTube.

“We need a big lift to make it relevant to teenagers and are looking at educational topics like NFTs, metaverse and Web3,” he said. “We aim to be the trusted account for democratizing investing for young people.”

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