Business 7 September 2018Dennis Wafula
Robinhood trading app eyes IPO: report
Robinhood, a cryptocurrency exchange and a stock trading app, is planning to go public, Tech Crunch reported.
In an interview with the tech news outlet, Robinhood CEO and co-founder Baiju Bhatt said the startup has begun its search for a chief financial officer (CFO), and is currently being audited by regulators like the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authorities (FINRA) as part of its bid for regulatory compliance.
Reports indicate that hiring a CFO will help the crypto startup in its pitch as the cheaper alternative to traditional stock brokers and rivals like E*Trade. It can also help the company to convince investors to support their operations.
Robinhood, which currently has over 5 million customers, offers services like ETFs, American depositary slips of international companies, tracking, buy and sell stocks, and cryptocurrency trade.
The company has managed to raise a total of $539 million to date with the help of numerous investors, including Kleiner Perkins, Sequoia, Google’s Capital G and Andreessen Horowitz. After its Series D funding early this year, the company is now valued at $5.6 billion, making it the second most valuable fintech startup in the United States.
Robinhood has three main monetization streams: earning interest from the money kept by users in the Robinhood accounts, selling order flow to stock exchanges that want more liquidity for their traders, and selling Robinhood Gold subscriptions.
The company began offering trading services for cryptocurrencies early this year, which attracted over one million people to their platform. In June, it was rumored that the company was arranging to launch its cryptocurrency wallet. This week, Robinhood announced that it’s adding candlestick charts to its platform to “help investors better understand how prices move.”
According to a Robinhood representative, the charts “show the open, high, low, and close price during a given time frame, and how volatile the price has been, while a line chart only displays the close price,” noting that, “With this information, investors can also determine how volatile the price has been.”
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