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On Thursday, Robinhood raised over $1 billion in new funding from existing investors as the online brokerage deals with a spike in trading volumes this week as retail investors snatch up stocks like GameStop. Robinhood had already drawn on a line of credit from six banks to worth over $500 million, to meet higher margin, or lending, requirements that allow its clients to continue trading stocks.
The latest injection of cash builds on a $460 million extension to its $200 million Series G funding round that Robinhood closed in September 2020. The extension marked the fourth major fundraising effort of 2020 as it continues to grow its commission-free trading platform and valued the stock trading platform at $11.7 billion.
The company said it plans to use its latest injection of money to invest in improving its core product, customer experience, and new offerings like cash management and recurring investments.
Founded by Baiju Bhatt and Vlad Tenev in 2013, Robinhood offers users the ability to engage in commission-free trading with as little as $1. In 2019, the company expanded its operations to include cash management services that can allow users to earn interest on cash they have deposited into their Robinhood accounts but not yet used to purchase securities.
Over the past year Robinhood has rapidly gained new users, many of which are new to investing and eager for information, evidenced by a 250% spike in average unique daily visits to its “Learn” in the first half of 2020. Here are the team members the company will lean on as it continues to quickly scale.
In August 2020, the company strengthened its legal team with two new hires, Christina Lai and Lucas Moskowitz, who both serve as VPs and Deputy General Counsels. Lai are responsible for oversight and growth of Robinhood’s corporate legal group, as well as legal’s product, commercial, and privacy teams as it continues to scale. She also serves as Corporate Secretary for Robinhood, supporting the expansion of its Board of Directors and enhancing the company's governance and disclosure policies and practices. Moskowitz oversees the company’s regulatory, litigation, and government affairs groups, which will serve a vital function as the company comes under greater regulatory scrutiny as it grows.
Surabhi Gupta joined the company in late May 2020 as the VP of Product Engineering. In her role, she oversees all customer-facing products on the company's platform, including cash management and investing in stocks, options, and cryptocurrency. Surabhi plays an integral role in leading the company's engineering teams that are working to improve the product experience, meaninng her team could be a major benificary of Robinhood's latest funding rounds.
Robinhood’s Head of International Expansion, Patrick Kavanagh, is in charge of leading the company into new markets and is a central part of the company's growth strategy. Robinhood had aimed to launch its service in the UK in early 2020, but was forced to delay its plans indefinitely. Although our global expansion plans are on hold for now, Kavanagh is still a figure to watch as international expansion offers a massive opprtunity for growth.
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