Soon Launches Fintech App
Tired: Buy low, sell high.
Wired: Time in the market beats timing the market.
Inspired: Don’t time the market. Just harvest profits with every spend.
At the end of July, Americans found out the economy had shrunk for a second quarter in a row. There was plenty of debate on the exact definition, but for most Americans, two quarters of a shrinking economy is what they’d call a recession.
At the same time, inflation hit historic highs, and in the past two years assets like real estate and cryptocurrency have rallied to all time highs as well.
With the economy uncertain, cash losing value, and asset investing shown as one of the few ways to preserve savings, how should regular people save? Real estate isn’t always a sure bet (ask anybody who remembers 2008). Some will eagerly play the public markets, or bet everything on the latest meme stock, but most just want a simple way to save for the future.
In the face of all the volatility, one Utah startup is hoping to simplify savings with a unique approach.
Soon, a financial services startup based in Salt Lake City, says that with the right strategy and tools, that same market volatility is an opportunity.
“We're not really doing much at all with trying to predict what's going to happen in the market,” says Michael Shattuck, Co-founder at Soon. “Instead, we're taking a very different approach, where we react to a different stream of information. That stream of information is the user spending activity.”
On the front end, Soon may look like other finance apps. It's an investment account connected to your spending account that utilizes your transaction history. It automatically invests for you, but even that isn’t all that special, with apps like Acorns opening the way ten years ago.
What sets Soon apart is its investing and divesting strategy. Unlike Acorns, which invests the "round-up" amount of your transaction when you spend, Soon practices dollar-cost-averaging, investing every day. For now, Soon is investing those funds in various cryptocurrencies, but expects to expand to multiple asset classes in the future. Then when users swipe their debit card at any point of sale, the investment that has seen the highest increase in value will be the first to divest.
The concept was powerful enough to get Soon accepted to the Winter 2022 cohort of Y Combinator (YC), the premier tech startup accelerator on earth. YC invested $500K into Soon in addition to $1M previously announced in their pre-seed round
What happens when markets decline? Shattuck says Soon has done extensive testing to ensure the asset mix stays healthy even when markets are hurting.
“We've done thousands upon thousands of simulations on this technique–through crash data, through the 2008 crisis, through the previous crypto winters, through all sorts of markets. This type of a pattern typically wins out in the end. Our data suggests you'd be more likely to take more money home than if you just sit and wait, or if you're just trying to predict the market.”
The possibility of markets dropping helps Soon decide which cryptocurrencies to include in their accounts. Currently users hold deposits in the dominant cryptocurrency Bitcoin, but also crypto tokens like Uni, Chainlink, and Algo, which are notably not the highest market-cap tokens. Shattuck says that’s on purpose, because those tokens “are somewhat less correlated to Bitcoin and Ethereum. We may switch those up in the future, and we may add others as we find assets that are even less correlated. We've noticed that if you have less correlation, that volatility is much more powerful. You'll have assets that are down at the same time having assets that are up.”
And that’s where the spending power comes. In each transaction from a Soon account, the most profitable investment provides the capital, whether you’re paying for a pack of gum or next month’s rent.
Right now Soon is rolling out the Beta version of its app to early users. In the coming month, Shattuck says they expect to expand to their entire waitlist of thousands of users.
The Soon team is in talks with various credit Unions too to act as the preferred crypto investing solution for those institutions and their members, a rare pairing of local service with high tech diversified crypto investing.
“Our intention is to be a stress free, fully-automated crypto investing account,” says Shattuck.
Interested users can download the Soon app from their website, Soon.app.