Robinhood Falls Short of $35 Billion Valuation in IPO

In its initial public offering, the fee-free crypto, stock, and options exchange known as Robinhood, managed to raise a whopping $2 billion, which allowed it to reach a valuation of $32 billion. While this means that Robinhood is now more valuable than Nasdaq itself, the IPO did not give the company its desired valuation of $35 billion. Robinhood shares opened trading today under the HOOD ticker. The shares of the company sold at a value of $38 in its IPO, which is the lower end of the proposed range of $38 – $42. Users of the exchange were permitted to buy one third of the total available shares before they were launched in the market.

This is a rather unusual move in these processes. Even though Robinhood did not reach its desired target, the company’s valuation has turned out to be a lot higher than where it had reached in the previous funding round when it hit the $12 billion mark. This has brought the company in the mid-tier of its competitors, as it now has a better valuation than Interactive Brokers at $26 billion, but it is significantly behind Charles Schwab, which is valued at a massive $130 billion.

Robinhood was able to capitalize on the growth and interest that the crypto and stock market had gone through in the first two quarters of this year. It had managed to ride its popularity as one of the first platforms that introduced the concept of zero-fee trading, which prompted a trade in the industry. However, there are some experts who have claimed that this kind of valuation will be difficult to sustain in the long run, unless the company will be able to keep up its high growth rate. Considering the disappointing first day of trading, the experts may just turn out to be right.

While options trading generates Robinhood’s main revenues, which are about 38%, the company does generate a significant portion of its earnings from crypto-related trading as well, which is around 17%. This is where Robinhood has managed to see exponential growth of late. In the preliminary prospectus that the company filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for its IPO, it disclosed that during the first quarter of the year, the clients had traded $88 billion. This meant that Robinhood was holding approximately $12 billion in cryptocurrency on behalf of its users.

Nonetheless, the company’s big crypto business has been a point of concern for the regulators. People who are familiar with the matter disclosed that Robinhood’s IPO had been delayed by the SEC over concerns about how the company was conducting its crypto business. Currently, it is being closely monitored by regulators because Vlad Tenev, the company’s CEO, is not licensed by Wall Street’s watchdog, FINRA. However, Robinhood has asserted that Tenev does not need to be regulated at all because he serves as the CEO of Robinhood Markets, rather than its trading subsidiary, which is known as Robinhood Financial. The investigation is ongoing.