Robinhood raises $13m for commission-free stock trading app

Robinhood raises $13m for commission-free stock trading app

Robinhood, the startup behind a no-commission stock trading app, has raised $13 million in a series a funding round led by Index Ventures and joined by celebs including Snoop Dogg.

With traditional retail brokerages such as E*Trade charging fees of anything up to $10 a trade, Robinhood has attracted huge interest over the last few months, despite the fact that it has yet to launch.

The firm has built up a wait list of nearly half a million people - the vast majority under 30 - patiently holding on for early beta testing to conclude ahead of a launch slated for early next year.

The firm argues that it can ditch commissions by clever use of technology and dispensing with costly overheads such as physical locations and manual account management.

It plans to make its money by offering margin trading, letting other firms build apps on top of its API, and delivering trade flow to exchanges. It may also start charging for some "premium" services at some point.

Heayweight investors Andreessen Horowitz and Google Ventures were among those to back the company - founded by twenty-something Vlad Tenev and Baiju Prafulkumar Bhatt - with early seed funding worth $3 million.

Now Index Ventures has led a $13 million round, with the VC's Jan Hammer joining Robinhood's board. Other round participants include Ribbit Capital, StockTwits co-founder Howard Lindzon, Jared Leto, Snoop Dogg, and Nasir 'Nas' Jones.

The money will be used to hire engineers and designers and expand the beta program ahead of launch.

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