US trading app Robinhood aims for $35bn valuation in IPO

Robinhood, the US trading app at the centre of the buzz surrounding meme stocks such as GameStop and the cinema company AMC, and cryptocurrencies such as dogecoin, is hoping to float on the New York stock market at a valuation of up to $35bn (£26bn).

The online brokerage, which states its mission is to “democratise” investing, revealed the details of its initial public offering plans in a stock market filing on Monday, setting the stage for one of the most highly anticipated IPOs of the year.

The flotation comes after the app experienced a huge increase in young people joining the platform and starting to trade shares during the coronavirus pandemic, often buying meme stocks such as GameStop.

Robinhood was criticised after it curbed trading in the middle of the surge in GameStop’s shares as it struggled to cope with demand.

If Robinhood achieves the $35bn valuation target, it will represent a threefold increase since September 2020, when the company was valued at $11.7bn at a private equity fundraising. The shares are expected to be priced between $38 and $42, the company said.

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Robinhood was founded in 2013 by Stanford University roommates Vlad Tenev and Baiju Bhatt. They will hold a majority of the voting rights after the offering, the filing showed, with Bhatt having about 39% of the voting power of outstanding stock, while Tenev will hold about 26.2%.

The company plans to list on the Nasdaq under the symbol “HOOD”. Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan are the lead underwriters for the offering.

Robinhood also said it estimated it has 22.5m funded accounts, up from 18m in the first quarter of 2021. The California-based company said its second-quarter 2021 revenue would be between $546m and $574m, a 129% increase from the same period a year earlier.


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