From idea to leading investment app—M1 achieves $3.5B in digital growth

M1 Financial had a lofty vision to offer an affordable, intelligent investment solution that would help newbie investors build wealth (because the interest on your average savings account gets you nowhere). 

However, was there enough demand for their idea? And if so, how could they build an experience-driven digital solution to serve this audience—and bring it to market? 

Vokal stepped in to answer these questions and build a platform that would rapidly disrupt the wealth management market. 

Vokal worked to make their vision a reality

  • M1 worked with Vokal on a two-fold approach to building the product and the business. Step one was to validate demand and build the product. Step two was to get (the right) people using the product. 

Crafting a Digital First Investment Experience

Step 1: Validate demand and build the product

First, M1 needed to make their vision into a real, tangible offering. 

So, we got to work on validating, designing, and building a digital tool that would offer easy, automated investing for building wealth over the long-term. We vetted their ideas with industry and consumer research, then we used experience mapping to define core product features and base technology system architecture.

M1 named the resulting product The Finance Super App™.


Step 2. Nailing the digital experience and getting people using the product

One of the key challenges in building The Finance Super App was creating a smooth experience and stickiness within the tool—something many banks struggle to deliver in digital offerings. 

The UX needed to help users jump through the hoops of connecting their checking account to the M1 app and creating an initial investment portfolio. The app also needed to offer them incentive to return often. 

Make the App useful, and sticky app? Check. But what good is an app without growth? M1 needed people to try out their new tool. Vokal helped M1 identify core and power user audiences for acquisition campaigns.

M1 now boasts over $3.5 billion in assets under management

M1 is now one of the top-funded and fastest-growing consumer fintech companies. And their velocity is still increasing:

  - Reached over $3.5 billion in client assets just five months after doubling to $2 billion.

   - 3X increase in new sign-ups in January 2021 versus December 2020.

   - Reached #10 in the App Store’s finance category and #84 overall on February 8.

The brand also recently announced a $75 million Series D funding round. Their top priority for these funds? Continuing to build the best available investor experience, with tools that automate life-long, positive financial habits.

Why mid-market banks should care

Disruptive is the new normal in banking. Fintechs like M1 are gaining significant ground by delivering cutting-edge digital and mobile banking solutions. Traditional banks and credit unions can no longer look at digital as a cost-savings play—it’s the best path forward to accelerate revenue, income and new account growth. 

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