Robinhood prepares to go public as CFO search gets underway

Baiju Bhatt says an IPO aligns with its mission to democratise the financial system

Robinhood, the zero-free stock trading app and cryptocurrency exchange, has revealed it is preparing to go public.

The FinTech’s Chief Executive Baiju Bhatt said at TechCrunch Disrupt SF this week that an initial public offering (IPO) is something it is thinking about in the medium to long-term as part of its goal to democratise America’s financial system. To that end, it is actively searching for a Chief Financial Officer.

“[Going public] is something that we think is very much in the future of Robinhood,” said Bhatt. “Being a public company aligns very closely with our mission and it’s definitely on the horizon.”

He claimed Robinhood is well-prepared for a stock market listing because it is already highly regulated and subject to strong audit requirements.

No regrets

The California-based startup launched cryptocurrency trading in February and its customers have since seen a huge drop in the price of Ethereum. But Bhatt suggested he does not regret opening crypto to mainstream investors.

“Looking at the price of crypto is not something I do on an everyday basis,” he said. “We opened up Robinhood crypto to customers in the US because we thought that this was a big change that is coming to the financial system [….] Whether the price goes up or down, we still believe that this is something that’s going to matter long-term.”

Investors in the FinTech’s latest $363 million (£281 million) fundraising round included Sequoia, Google’s venture capital fund Capital G, DST Global and Iconiq, boosting its valuation to $5.6 billion (£4.3 billion). It currently has five million customers – almost twice as many as its competitor E*Trade.

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