Illustration of growing and increasing finances. Courtesy of Mee Ko Dong, Shutterstock.
Robinhood occupies a large mindshare among retail investors who are drawn to its easy-to-use interface and mission to democratize trading. The company has raised almost $6 billion, including $3.4B in the last week, and recently hit a new record with a million downloads in a day. Lately, the app has taken a hit as a flurry of bad press around its decision to halt trading of GameStop stock amid an attempt by retail investors to short squeeze hedge funds who bet against the video game store’s stock.
The popular app’s decision has caused interest around other investment platforms as some investors search for alternatives to Robinhood. But what else is out there beyond the large institutional services like Fidelity or TD Ameritrade?
Keep reading to discover some other investment apps and services that threaten to take Robinhoods crown.
Public is an investing social network where users are able to buy fractional shares of stocks and ETFs. Users can also follow popular creators and share their own ideas within the platform’s community of investors. Founded in 2017 by Jannick Malling and Leif Abraham, who serve as co-CEOs, Public grew its userbase more than tenfold in 2020 and capped the year with a $65M Series C in December 2020.
Established in 2017, Webull is a Chinese financial services company headquartered on Wall Street in New York City. Led by CEO Anthony Denier, the company’s technology team is based in Hunan, China, while its customer-facing and brokerage operations are in New York.
The company is a mobile-first service and offers commission-free trading of stocks, ETFs, and options. The company believes that everyone should have an equal opportunity to control their own financial future and strives to keep its vast depth of news, real-time market data, analysis tools, and trading commissions completely free.
Founded by Brian Barnes, M1 Finance is one of the most popular online investment platforms, which also offers checking accounts, debit cards, loans, and other financial services. The Chicago-based company has experienced massive growth in the past year and in January 2020 it hit $3 billion in client assets up from just $1 billion in February 2020.
M1’s platform has no transaction fees and offers fractional shares. The company’s investing tool allows users to visualize their investments through pie charts so it’s easy to adjust the relative size of each asset. Users can develop their own portfolios using stocks and funds or choose from a variety of portfolios that have been pre-built by experts.
Acorns allows users to invest spare change from everyday purchases into a professionally managed portfolio of index funds through micro-investing. Acorns specializes in micro-investing and robo-investing and has 8.2 million customers and $3 billion in assets under management. Based in Irvine, California, the company is led by Noah Kerner, who got involved with Acorns two months after its launch and worked his way up from adviser to an investor, board director, and CEO.
Betterment is the investment platform for users who don’t want to worry about picking stocks or mutual funds. Established by Jon Stein in 2010, the company provides customers with robo-advising and cash management services. The company is now run by former media executive Sarah Kirshbaum Levy after Stein announced he would step down in December 2020. Betterment has $25 billion in assets under management and is contemplating an initial public offering (IPO) in the coming years.
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