Monday, Robinhood announced a new $200 million round of funding at over $11 billion.
Way back in 2014, I invested in Robinhood at the seed stage for our fund Social Leverage.
I wrote about it here. I laid out what I thought was going to happen and I got a lot right.
In September 2014, Robinhood closed an A round that we participated in as well and co-founder Baiju Bhatt sat down with me about all the reasons they are attacking this market and the amount of detail that is necessary to launch such an ambitious mobile brokerage app. It is an awesome listen:
When Robinhood launched in December 2014, I wrote ‘Long Live Free Commissions‘ and Fidelity took out full page ads that declared ‘Free Trades Won’t Make You A Better Investor’:
I ended the blog post with:
It is now time and execution that will decide the future of Robinhood and this amazing industry, but I am so glad to be an investor in Robinhood and help push the industry forward and shake things up a bit.
Flash forward 6 years and at $11 billion valuation and 13 plus million users, it is safe to say, that Vlad and Baiju have delivered on a few promises.
At Social Leverage we are as excited as ever about the prospects for Robinhood and the next wave of financial services (fintech) as ever.
So now we have Robinhood, Etoro (between the two of them 30 million new global traders and investors) and hundreds of global clones in the works that will be powered by incredible new API infrastructure and connected to social networks and chat products 24/7/365.
What do I see coming next?
The iPod and iPhone spurred a monster wave of ‘accessories’ and so too will Robinhood et al spur a wave in innovation including:
Proliferation of fractionalization across all financial assets
Unique wedges into consumer brokerage businesses
Research and financial education and media reimagined
Disruption to financial advisor industry and portfolio construction
Pre-wealth management services
Post retirement wealth management services
Financial lifestyle brands
The world is going to keep reorganizing around new financial markets and those same concepts spreading into more enterprise and more consumer behaviors. Our firm Social Leverage is going to continue to find/pick/invest in companies defining and leading this next wave.