SOURCE: Robinhood

Robinhood

December 18, 2013 09:00 ET

Robinhood Closes $3 Million in Seed Funding for First Zero-Commission Mobile-Focused Stock Brokerage

Index Ventures, a16z Seed and Other VCs Participate; Robinhood Financial LLC Receives Approval From FINRA

REDWOOD CITY, CA--(Marketwired - Dec 18, 2013) - Robinhood, a mobile financial services company, announced today it has closed $3 million in seed funding to accelerate its zero-commission mobile-first stock brokerage. Index Ventures led the round, with a16z seed, Rothenberg Ventures and angel investors including Tim Draper and Howard Lindzon/Social Leverage adding to the initial funding from Google Ventures.

The new funds will allow Robinhood to scale its platform and enable customers to make unlimited commission-free US listed stocks and ETF trades via mobile devices and online, and to expand its engineering and design team. The new app will be available on iPhone in early 2014 and is expected to be available on iPad and Android shortly thereafter.

"The brokerage industry has operated essentially the same way since it began, and it took until now for someone to develop a mobile-first, zero commission trading model," said Jan Hammer, Partner of Index Ventures. "Robinhood is the right idea, at the right time, to enable and empower a new generation of investors to build their financial future at a younger age, and we're excited to be on the ground floor of this sea change."

Concurrent with closing the seed round of the funding, Robinhood Financial LLC (a wholly owned subsidiary) announced it has received approval from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to operate as a securities broker-dealer. This approval allows Robinhood to offer stock, corporate bond and option trading.

Robinhood combines a sophisticated, proprietary automated trading platform with a simple user interface, giving customers access to real-time stock quotes, notifications and alerts, and the ability to place unlimited zero-commission trades on all US listed stocks and ETFs.

"In an age when people are attached to their phones, it is a natural fit to take trading and investing to a mobile-first format," said Howard Lindzon, General Partner of Social Leverage. "Robinhood is shaping the future of trading for the GenY mobile-savvy investors who will naturally want to make seamless zero commission trades with the touch of their phone, and we're excited to support their endeavor."

The company plans to roll out access to the Robinhood trading app over time on a first-come, first-served basis, beginning January 2014. "An investment platform you'd trust with your savings requires the highest level of reliability," said Vladimir Tenev, Co-founder of Robinhood. "From the outset it's what we sought to build. We've accomplished the mission, and we are anxious to get the product in users' hands."

Interested individuals can register for updates on the company's new website at http://www.robinhood.io.

About Robinhood
Robinhood is a first-of-its-kind mobile stock brokerage. Built with sophisticated, proprietary algorithms and other unique technology, Robinhood is the only mobile-first premiere stock brokerage offering unlimited commission-free trading in all US listed stocks and ETFs. By eliminating trading commissions, Robinhood's mission is to enable a new generation of people to learn about investing and better manage their wealth. Founded by three-time financial services entrepreneurs Vladimir Tenev and Baiju Bhatt, Robinhood is headquartered in Redwood City, CA and backed by top-tier venture firms including Google Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz and Index Ventures, and angel investors including Tim Draper and Howard Lindzon. To learn more, visit www.robinhood.io or follow the company on Twitter @robinhoodapp.

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