Business

Steve Kaaru

Robinhood raises $323M, putting firm at $7.6B valuation

Robinhood Markets Inc. has raised $323 million in its latest funding round, valuing the six-year-old company at a whopping $7.6 billion. The company, whose main product is a commission-free stock trading application, has added $2 billion to its valuation since its last funding round in 2018.

Robinhood announced the new funding round in a blog post, stating that this was a nod to its effort to build products and services that expand access to the financial system. The round was led by DST Global, a VC firm that has invested in leading tech companies including Facebook, Zynga, Flipkart, Twitter, Airbnb and Spotify. Other firms which participated in the round include Sequoia, New Enterprise Associates, Thrive Capital and Ribbit Capital.

The funding round comes despite a failed product launch in December 2018. The Menlo Park-based company announced that it was to launch a new checkings and savings account. After attracting scrutiny from regulators, it renamed and re-launched the product, but even then, Robinhood was unable to launch it successfully.

However, the company is yet to give up on its plan. According to a report by Fortune, the company has repackaged its product and is seeking to launch it soon. Speaking during Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech conference in Aspen, the company’s COO, Gretchen Howard, revealed that the company would launch a cash management account soon.

Howard stressed that the new product will not serve as a bank account. Instead, it will be a cash management feature ‘within customers’ existing brokerage accounts rather than a stand-alone account. She added that the company had applied for a federal bank charter which would allow it to offer all the traditional services that commercial banks can offer.

Robinhood has been a darling of the crypto community after it opened a crypto trading functionality in 2018. It has since expanded the service to over 30 states in the U.S., opening its doors to New Yorkers in May and allowing them to trade Bitcoin SV (BSV) and six other cryptos. The company’s faith in cryptos paid off greatly, attracting 1 million new users in just five days after Robinhood Cryptos was launched.

The launching of the crypto platform was also the key contributor to the company’s sudden spike in valuation. In 2018, Robinhood quadrupled its value in just 11 months to $5.6 billion.

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