Robinhood Is Authorized to Operate as a Broker in the U.K.
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August 08, 2019
According to the recent reports, Robinhood International, which is a subsidiary of Robinhood, has been approved to operate as a broker in the U.K. The approval has been given by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). This is a part of the plan for Robinhood to expand to the U.K. with their services.
We’re excited to share that Robinhood International, Ltd. has been authorized by the Financial Conduct Authority to operate as a broker in the United Kingdom. This means we’re one step closer to democratizing finance for all.
— Robinhood (@RobinhoodApp) August 8, 2019
Robinhood International, residing in London-based office, can be considered as the first step of Robinhood expansion to other countries and cities. It is known that Robinhood has already started hiring people for its new London office.
Recently, Robinhood was valued at $7.6 billion by investors. So we can consider the company to be a unicorn. The company is one of the rare fee-free stock trading apps in the U.K., and this niche is considered fairly open.
Other Fee-free Trading Offerings
In the country, there’s another gate crusher called Freetrade. The company has all the needed regulatory approvals by the FCA, while other companies tend to just partner with others who already have the needed licenses, instead of getting their own. Within Freetrade, users can invest in traditional stocks and ETFs. And they can perform their activities free of charge at the close of business every day.
Moreover, Revolut has recently launched its fee-free stock trading service. Additionally, Revolut hasn’t applied for their own licenses but is using a partnership with a US broker DriveWealth. Revolut offers its users only to trade US stocks, and for now, only a few metal card users can use this feature.
Basically, last month, Robinhood announced a Series E funding round which was led by DST Global. After this funding round, which raised around $323 million, the company reached its valuation of $7.6 billion by the investors. Companies such as Thrive Capital, NEA, Ribbit Capital, and Sequoia also participated in the round. These funds, according to Robinhood, is going to be used for further company business expansion. One of the main aims for the company, according to the firm’s blog post, is to “keep pursuing [its] mission of democratizing finance for all”.
Moreover, Robinhood along with LibertyX, a Bitcoin ATM provider company, and sixteen other companies have been granted a New York BitLicense which is issued by the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYSDFS).
“We’re delighted that Robinhood Crypto has been granted a virtual currency license and a money transmitter license in New York. This will complement the larger suite of investment services that New Yorkers already have access to on the Robinhood platform. The NYDFS has been very helpful throughout this process, and we look forward to their ongoing guidance as we prepare to launch Robinhood Crypto in New York,” noted Robinhood co-CEO Vlad Tenev.
It’s also worth mentioning that initially, the company introduced its crypto trading services in February 2018.