Robinhood Surpasses 10M Subscribers

Silicon Valley startup Robinhood has signed over 10 million subscribers to its free stock-trading service, the company said in a blog post on Wednesday (Dec. 4).

The company, which launched in 2013, attracts millennials interested in trading stocks and cryptocurrency. It quickly expanded to one million subscribers in 2016 and six million by October of 2018.

By way of comparison, Charles Schwab is in the process of acquiring TD Ameritrade; together, they serve about 24 million clients. The all-stock transaction is valued at approximately $26 billion, CNBC reported.

Robinhood disrupted the brokerage industry by offering free stock trading, which caused major retail brokers to drop commission fees.

“We founded this company to break down barriers to our financial system,” the company said in a blog post. “As a result, we’re seeing changes across the industry: Other brokerages have dropped their commission fees, removing a needless barrier from the financial lives of millions.”

Robinhood was valued at $7.6 billion in July after its $323 million Series E funding round led by DST Global. Participating investors included Ribbit Capital, NEA, Sequoia and Thrive Capital. The company has raised more than $860 million in venture capital funding to date.

Robinhood Co-founders and co-CEOs Baiju Bhatt and Vlad Tenev said the company’s long-term strategy includes going public.

“We believe participation is power … and we spent our earliest days holding customer research sessions so we could better understand how to serve a new generation of investors,” the post said.

Aside from commission-free stock and ETF trading, the company offers commission-free options trading and commission-free crypto trading through Robinhood Crypto. It also has a premium offering called Robinhood Gold, and educates investors through its newsletter and podcast. It will soon offer interest on uninvested cash in customers’ brokerage accounts.

Last month, Robinhood announced that it was giving up on its plans to become a federally insured bank. The company voluntarily pulled its bank charter application with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, which was submitted earlier this year.