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Walter (right), Jeff Cruttenden

Walter (right), Jeff Cruttenden

Acorns Grow Inc., an Irvine-based fintech started by local entrepreneurs Walter Cruttenden and son Jeff Cruttenden, plans to go public through a merger with a blank-check company in a deal that values the investment app at about $2.2 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Acorns will combine with Pioneer Merger Corp. (Nasdaq: PACX), a special-purpose acquisition company affiliated with the hedge funds Falcon Edge Capital and Patriot Global Management, the paper said.

Acorns has accumulated $4.74 billion in assets under management with 4 million subscribers who pay anywhere from $1 to $5 a month.  

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It expects $126 million in revenue this year and $309 million in 2023, up from $71 million in 2020, the paper said. Acorns is also predicting more than 8 million subscribers by 2023.

Pioneer will contribute about $400 million in cash, with another $165 million coming from a related private placement involving funds managed by BlackRock Inc., which has invested in Acorns, and other investors.

Shares of Pioneer rose 2.3% to $9.97 and a $503 million market cap.