Inventory buying and selling app Robinhood will get UK dealer license

Robinhood, the Silicon Valley-based inventory buying and selling app that was just lately valued by traders at $7.6 billion, has acquired regulatory approval within the U.Ok., breaking cowl on its plans to arrange store in London (as reported completely by TechCrunch 7 months in the past).

Particularly, Robinhood Worldwide Ltd., a Robinhood subsidiary, has been authorised to function as a dealer (with some restrictions) within the U.Ok. by the Monetary Conduct Authority, which regulates U.Ok. monetary companies. This gears Robinhood up for a U.Ok. launch, though the corporate is staying tightlipped on when precisely that will probably be.

As well as, Robinhood is disclosing that it has appointed Wander Rutgers as President of Robinhood Worldwide. He joins from London fintech Plum, the place he headed up the startup’s investing and financial savings product, and previous to that’s stated to have led product, compliance and operations groups at TransferWise.

At Robinhood, Rutgers will lead the U.Ok. enterprise and oversee the corporate’s new London workplace, which has already begun staffing up. Sources advised me in April that Robinhood was busy hiring for a number of U.Ok. positions, together with recruitment, operations, advertising/PR, buyer assist, compliance and product.

The corporate tells me it is usually constructing out a London-based person analysis workforce so it might probably higher discover product-market match right here. Crudely constructing a localised model of Robinhood clearly received’t lower it.

In the meantime, information that Robinhood is ramping its deliberate U.Ok. launch is attention-grabbing within the context of native fintech startups which have launched their very own fee-free buying and selling choices.

First out of the gate was London-based Freetrade, which selected very early on to construct a bona-fide “challenger dealer,” together with acquiring the required license from the FCA, quite than merely partnering with a longtime dealer. The app enables you to spend money on shares and ETFs. Trades are “fee-free” if you’re comfortable on your purchase or promote trades to execute on the shut of enterprise every day. If you wish to execute instantly, the startup costs a low £1 per commerce.

And simply final week, Revolut lastly launched its fee-free inventory buying and selling characteristic, albeit tentatively. For now, the characteristic is restricted to some Revolut clients with a premium Metallic card (which itself entails a month-to-month subscription charge) and covers 300 U.S.-listed shares. The corporate says that it plans to increase to U.Ok. and European shares in addition to Change Traded Funds sooner or later. Noteworthy, my understanding is that Revolut doesn’t have its personal dealer license however is partnering with US dealer DriveWealth for a part of its tech and the required regulatory authorisation (it additionally explains why, for now, Revolut is providing entry to U.S. shares solely).

In distinction, Freetrade has lengthy argued that to innovate inside buying and selling, it is advisable to construct and personal the complete brokerage stack. It was the primary mover on this regard amongst the brand new crop of “fee-free” buying and selling apps within the U.Ok., although others, together with Netherlands-based Bux and now Robinhood, have since taken the identical path. Solely time will inform if Revolut will probably be compelled to do the identical.

One other tidbit is that Revolut and Robinhood share traders, specifically Index and DST. That makes for an attention-grabbing subplot as the 2 unicorns encroach on one another’s garden. No battle, no curiosity.


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