Crypto Trading App Robinhood Makes its First Acquisition
While there are payment service providers that have attempted to either downplay or stall the fact that cryptocurrency can potentially change the way that businesses send value to each other, Robinhood has embraced the sector to a large extent. On March 25, 2019, the company announced that it had acquired media company MarketSnacks.
About The Deal
The acquisition is notable for the fact that this is Robinhood’s first.
The Menlo Park-based financial services company has focused on providing new features for its no-fee stock trading app, rather than strategic acquisitions since its launch over five years ago in 2013. The company was founded by two individuals who used to build high-frequency trading platforms in New York City.
MarketSnacks is a daily newsletter and podcast focused on millennials, which have recently become the largest segment of the workforce in the country. Many believe that this is part of Robinhood’s overall ambitions to be a “one-stop shop” for the young investor. MarketSnacks, which will rebrand to “Robinhood Snacks” was founded in 2012 and has amassed an audience of around six million.
The idea behind the move is to help investors to be fully informed about current financial news in digestible portions, or “snacks,” so that they can be up to date within minutes. The co-founders of MarketSnacks, Jack Kramer and Nick Martell, will join the company as managing editors of the financial news offered on the platform.
Robinhood and Crypto
Robinhood is valued at over five billion dollars and has a user base of over five million, and with good reason.
It is the only app in existence where users can seamlessly toggle between trading stocks, options, and cryptocurrencies, which is one of the reasons why it has been able to gain so much traction among younger investors.
The company is, however, also making a significant amount of money by selling information about its users’ buy and sell orders, which is not unusual at all in the financial sector.
Robinhood has also been granted the coveted Bitlicense in New York, which means the company has a serious edge over the competition.
The CEO of Robinhood, Baju Bhatt, has been vocal about his plans to take the company public. He mentioned his ambitions last year at TechCrunch Disrupt SF. The company later ended up hiring Amazon veteran Jason Warnick as its first-ever chief financial officer (CFO).