Robinhood Markets Inc., is an online brokerage company with a stock trading and investing app aimed at younger retail investors.
Yahoo and Google Finance went mobile, pushing Robinhood out of that space, so Robinhood raised $16 million from well-known venture capitalists, including Andreessen Horowitz and Ribbit Capital, and pivoted to become a brokerage.
Robinhood as we now know it was formally launched in Apple’s App Store in December 2014.
Robinhood is a commission-free brokerage, meaning users did not have to pay fees to trade stocks on its platform.
While Robinhood has not released its full financials, it does disclose its revenue from PFOF. During the first and second quarters of 2020, it reported revenues of $91 million and $180 million from PFOF. In its latest filing, Robinhood stated that those numbers has swollen to $331 million in the first quarter of 2021.
In December 2020, the SEC found that “Robinhood falsely claimed in a website FAQ between October 2018 and June 2019 that its execution quality matched or beat that of its competitors. The [SEC’s] order finds that Robinhood provided inferior trade prices,”.