Start-up Robinhood tops 10 million accounts even as industry follows in free-trading footsteps

Source: Robinhood

Free stock-trading start-up Robinhood just reached more than 10 million accounts, the company said Wednesday.

The Silicon Valley start-up, mostly used by millennials to trade stocks and cryptocurrency, has grown rapidly from its one million subscribers in 2016 and six million accounts in October of 2018.

Robinhood has attained its growth while disrupting the brokerage industry when it started offering stock trading for free in 2013. This fall, all of the major retail brokers followed suit and dropped commission fees on stock trading to keep up with the trend that Robinhood set.

“We founded this company to break down barriers to our financial system,” the company said in a blog post. “As a result, we’re seeing changes across the industry: Other brokerages have dropped their commission fees, removing a needless barrier from the financial lives of millions.”

To put Robinhood’s 10 million clients in context, the combined Charles Schwab and TD Ameritrade brokerage giant will serve about 24 million clients. Schwab announced it is buying TD last month.

Robinhood landed a $7.6 billion valuation in July after its latest funding round. The Menlo Park, California-based company announced it raised $323 million in a funding round led by DST Global in order to bolster its mission of “democratizing finance for all.”

Robinhood founders and co-CEOs, Baiju Bhatt and Vlad Tenev, have repeatedly said Robinhood’s long-term strategy involves public listing.

—CNBC’s Kate Rooney contributed reporting.

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