Robinhood Attracts $200 Million as Valuation Swells to $7 Billion: Report

Journalist:
Wes Messamore @thehuli
May 24, 2019

By CCN: Who says millennials don’t like to save and invest their money? By building a commission-free stock brokerage and trading app with a slick interface, Robinhood has built a $7 billion business in just six years. That’s the company’s valuation as it nears a $200 million funding round from its current financial backers, Bloomberg reports. The investment round is still unfolding and once complete could reportedly result in Robinhood fetching a valuation as high as $10 billion.

Robinhood closed its most recent funding round last year at which time a $5.6 billion valuation was attached.

The stock trading app boasts a stellar track record of growing its user base and monetizing its services.

According to Nasdaq, Robinhood Markets Inc. made $8 billion in revenue in 2017 and is projected to rake in $47 billion annually by 2020. It is already the fastest growing broker of all time.

Last year the investment app blew passed E*Trade after doubling its user base to 4 million. E*Trade, which was started in 1982, had 3.7 million user accounts at the time.

How Does Robinhood Makes Its Money?

With no commission fees, a common question people have when they first hear about Robinhood is: ‘How does the app make money?’ It’s a fair question.

Robinhood’s profits come from three sources:

  • Interest earned by lending money held in Robinhood accounts
  • Selling orders to high-volume exchanges seeking more liquidity
  • Robinhood Gold subscriptions that charge users $10 to $200 a month to borrow anywhere from $2,000 to $50,000 to trade on margin

The sale of orders to high-frequency exchanges is a practice that has attracted some criticism for a lack of transparency.

Robinhood’s Merry Band of Millennials

Robinhood is very popular with millennials. The lack of commission fees is a big selling point for millennials, who have less cash to spare than their parents did when they were that age. The app’s friendly interface and slick design is also likely a draw for the young-ish crowd.

Millennials Also Love Cryptocurrency

There’s no doubt that the mobile app’s selection of cryptocurrency investments is also attractive to millennial savers and daytraders.

One nationwide survey found 43% of millennials trust crypto exchanges more than stock exchanges. A further 90% of millennials prefer cryptocurrency to gold.

Robinhood Co-Founder and co-CEO Baiju Bhatt told CNBC last year:

“Crypto has certainly added to our growth. In the next couple of years I think you’ll see Robinhood looking like a full-service consumer finance company.”

This article was edited by Gerelyn Terzo.

Last modified (UTC): May 24, 2019 21:56

Tags: Robinhood
Wes Messamore @thehuli

Living in Nashville, Tennessee, United States (since 2001). Bachelor of Business Administration from Belmont University in 2009 (majored in Entrepreneurship). Organized Senator Rand Paul's first and second online fundraisers in 2009. Got the highest-paying non-profit internship in Washington DC in 2010. Roving editor for the Independent Voter Network. Applying economic principles, I accurately predicted the effect of cannabis legalization on drug-related violent crime in 2010. Email me | Follow Me on Twitter (followed by: fmr Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), fmr NM Gov. Gary Johnson, and Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY))