Robinhood raises $200m in funding round that values it at $11.2bn

The company's app has witnessed a surge in popularity with millennials trading shares while at home during pandemic

FILE - In this July 21, 2020 file photo, people walk by the New York Stock Exchange.  Stocks are drifting in early Friday, Aug. 14, trading on Wall Street after a report showed that sales for U.S retailers strengthened again last month, but by less than economists expected. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
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Robinhood Markets, the FinTech startup credited with helping to popularise trading among millennials, said on Monday it has raised $200 million (Dh734.5m) from investment firm D1 Capital Partners at a valuation of $11.2 billion.

Robinhood is one of the hottest FinTech startups in Silicon Valley, having consistently raised large sums at higher valuations from several marquee investors including Sequoia Capital, Ribbit Capital and Index Ventures. According to PitchBook and Reuters calculations, it has raised about $1.71bn so far.

This year alone, the Menlo Park, California-based startup has raised $800m in funds.

The latest funding round is widely seen as a precursor to an initial public offering (IPO) by the company, which has benefitted from a surge in day trading, driven by customers stuck at home during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Some traders and analysts have attributed rallies of between 300-500 per cent in stocks of bankrupt companies such as Hertz, Chesapeake, Whiting and JC Penney to retail investors using Robinhood.

The company, however, has been criticised for not doing enough to moderate excesses after one of its customers took his life believing he had lost more than $730,000 using the free trading app.

Robinhood said in June it may make it harder for people to qualify for sophisticated options trading on its platform and that it would improve its user interface.

Robinhood was founded in 2013 and now has more than 10 million user accounts. Customers at the brokerage, which has been credited with helping usher in commission-free trading throughout the retail brokerage industry, have a median age of 31.