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SPACs Take Trading Apps Public in a Test of Lay-Investor Loyalty

  • Acorns, Social Finance, Robinhood all set to go public
  • Don’t expect loyalty, Batnick of Ritholtz Wealth says
Robinhood's Trading Limits Send Users Into Small Brokers' Arms
Photographer: Tiffany Hagler-Geard/Bloomberg

A pair of special purpose acquisition companies are taking trading apps public amid weakness in that corner of equity capital markets, testing the willingness of their app users to buy into their business models.

Acorns Grow Inc., which offers an app with investing and banking products, is the latest to throw its hat into the public markets’ ring, announcing a hookup with blank-check firm Pioneer Merger Corp. on Thursday that’s expected to close in the back half of the year.