Fresh from landing $323m in venture funding, US-based Robinhood app has been given the green light to operate as a broker in the UK


US stock trading disruptor Robinhood is opening a London office ahead of its UK launch

Commission-free stock trading disruptor Robinhood is bringing its app to the UK market, in a bid to further globalise its mission of “democratising the financial system”.

A blog post on its website confirms the fintech has been granted full authorisation by the UK’s financial regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), to operate as a broker in the country.

The launch date has not been revealed, but the hiring process for roles in London has already started as Robinhood takes the first “critical step” in its global expansion.

It will face competition in the UK from similar stock trading apps such as Freetrade and eToro, while challenger bank Revolut recently announced plans to make free stock trading available to its near-five million customers across Europe.


UK launch of the Robinhood trading app follows $323m funding round

Wander Rutgers, formerly of fintechs Plum and TransferWise, has been appointed as president of Robinhood International, and will lead the expansion of the business throughout the UK.

He said: “Today marks the beginning of a new chapter for Robinhood, and we’re excited to take the first important step towards bringing our investing platform to customers in the UK.

“I’m thrilled to be a part of Robinhood and our effort to expand into a new international market.”

Launched in 2013, Robinhood was co-founded by Stanford University alumni Vladimir Tenev and Baiju Bhatt as an alternative to traditional investment methods, using data and technology to track stocks and shares and crowdsource trading advice.

robinhood app uk
Robinhood co-founders Baiju Bhatt and Vlad Tenev (Credit Robinhood)

Last month it announced its latest funding round to the tune of $323m — putting its overall market valuation in the region of $7.6bn.

Robinhood offers a range of investing options targeted largely at young consumers who are playing the stock market for the first time — including stocks and shares in public companies and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) listed on the US Stock Exchange.

Users can also trade in seven different cryptocurrencies in certain US states.

Full details of services available to the UK market have yet to be revealed.