Robinhood has reportedly hired Goldman Sachs to lead an IPO that could value the stock-trading app at more than $20 billion

Robinhood has reportedly hired Goldman Sachs to lead an IPO that could value the stock-trading app at more than $20 billion
Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
  • Robinhood has hired Goldman Sachs to lead an initial public offering next year that could value the fintech startup at more than $20 billion, Reuters reported Tuesday.
  • The stock-trading app, which was last privately valued at $11.7 billion, recently started interviewing bankers and is aiming for an IPO in Q1 2021, Bloomberg reported earlier this month.
  • Robinhood pioneered commission-free stock trading and helped popularize it among millennials, but has also been plagued by data breaches, outages, and investigations from regulators.

Robinhood, the popular stock-trading app, has hired Goldman Sachs to lead its initial public offering next year, Reuters reported on Tuesday.

The offering could value the fintech company at more than $20 billion and will come sometime in 2021 depending on market conditions, according to Reuters.

Robinhood declined to comment and Goldman did not respond to a request for comment.
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Robinhood was last privately valued at $11.7 billion following a September fundraising round and recently started interviewing potential bankers for an IPO in Q1 2021, Bloomberg reported earlier this month.

Its plans go to public aren't new, however - former Robinhood co-CEO Baiju Bhatt said as early as 2018 that the company was eyeing an eventual IPO. (Robinhood announced in November that Bhatt had stepped down as co-CEO and would continue to serve on the company's board, while co-founder Vlad Tenev will continue as the sole CEO, according to Forbes).

Robinhood's investors include Andreessen Horowitz, D1 Partners, Google's venture arm GV, Index Ventures, Kleiner Perkins, and Sequoia, according to PitchBook.
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Robinhood, which helped popularize commission-free stock trading, particularly among millennials, has seen a new generation of novice traders flock its stock, options, and cryptocurrency trading platform during the pandemic. The platform currently has around 13 million users.

But that growth has brought its own set of challenges, including users being impacted by trading volatility around the US presidential election and hackers gaining access to nearly 2,000 users' accounts. Critics have accused Robinhood of "gamifying" investing to the point that inexperienced clients can cause themselves substantial financial harm. This came to a head in June when a young options trader killed himself after seeing an extremely large negative portfolio value that was not reflective of his actual balance.
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Some investors have also accused Robinhood's novice traders of skewing the market, though a recent study found Robinhood's traders had little impact.

The company has also faced scrutiny from federal regulators. In 2019, Robinhood launched checking and savings products, hawking them as fully insured accounts with sky-high interest rates. However, that wasn't completely true, and the company was forced back to the drawing board.

More recently, Robinhood was targeted by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority in an investigation for its handling of a day-long outage in March and separately by the SEC in an investigation into alleged failures to properly disclose its deals with high-speed traders.
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