Robinhood seeking to hold an IPO in Q1 2021: report

Robinhood is gearing up for a potential initial public offering (IPO) in early 2021, a new report has revealed. The report claims that the stock and digital currency trading app has asked banks to pitch for roles in the IPO.

Robinhood has recorded rapid growth in 2020, with the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns playing a key role. In May, the company announced that it had added 3 million accounts in the first five months of the year. According to JMP Securities analyst Devin Ryan, Robinhood added 2 million more from May to September, bringing its total to 15 million users. The analyst noted that Robinhood is adding new users at five times the pace of its publicly-traded rivals.

Robinhood is banking on this surge in users when it conducts its IPO next year, Bloomberg reported. Citing sources with knowledge on the matter, the outlet claimed that Robinhood plans on going public in the first quarter of 2021. The firm has reportedly asked banks to start pitching for roles in the IPO. The IPO plans are, however, not set in stone and the company might decide against it, the sources stated.

Robinhood declined to comment.

The Menlo Park-based company has continued to target millennials and Generation Z investors, a demographic that many brokers have ignored for long. This has made Robinhood formidable as most of their clients are more willing to take risks in their investments, Bloomberg Intelligence’s Larry Tabb stated.

“Yet competing versus Robinhood will be difficult,” he said.

In line with its mission of democratizing finance for all, Robinhood has made it quite simple for novice users to trade in stocks and digital currencies. The company started supporting digital currencies in January 2018, expanding the support the following year to seven digital currencies.

Robinhood’s growth has, however, been accompanied by a spike in client complaints. In the first half of 2020, U.S consumer protection agencies received 400 complaints regarding Robinhood. This was four times more than Charles Schwab, despite the publicly-traded brokerage having twice as many clients.

A breach in mid-October didn’t help Robinhood’s case, with hackers reportedly compromising 2,000 accounts. Some of the victims claimed to have been using two-factor authentication, making the breach all the more worrying. Robinhood’s slow response to client complaints was also on the spotlight, with some of the user’s whose accounts were hacked taking days to get a response from the company.

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