Robinhood Markets agreed to buy Say Technologies, a tool for shareholder voting and communication, in its first acquisition as a public company.
The approximately $140 million all-cash deal will give Robinhood access to Say’s software, which helps company shareholders exercise their right to vote proxies and ask questions of management, according to a blog post on Tuesday. The announcement comes less than two weeks after Robinhood made its public trading debut.
“Together, we’ll find new ways to expand what it means to be an investor through new products and experiences that democratise shareholder access,” Robinhood said in the blog post on its website.
Retail investors haven’t traditionally been a major force in voting on corporate matters like executive pay and shareholder proposals. One study of US retail voting behaviour between 2015 and 2017 found that retail accounts made up just about 11 per cent of those that voted in shareholder meetings.
The potential significance of retail shareholder votes was on display last month when electric car start-up Lucid Motors' deal to merge with special purpose acquisition company Churchill Capital was almost stymied by no-show shareholders. The companies appealed to investors on social media platforms and Reddit asking them to exercise their vote. Their pleas were answered and the deal closed.