No-fee investing app Robinhood has landed an $8.3 billion valuation after it raised $280 million in Series F funding, the company confirmed today. Sequoia Capital, one of Silicon Valley’s biggest venture investors, led the round that was joined by returning investors, including NEA, Ribbit Capital, 9Yards Capital, and Unusual Ventures.
Announcing the new mega-round Monday, Robinhood said it had grown rapidly in 2020, having added three million funded accounts so far this year. The Silicon Valley startup, mostly used by millennials to trade stocks and cryptocurrency, said in December 2019 it had hit 10 million accounts milestone, up from its one million subscribers in 2016 and six million accounts in 2018.
To put those impressive metrics in context, the New York startup has been able to bring on more customers than TD Ameritrade, which onboards 11 million users and has been in the online brokerage industry since 1975. One of Robinhood’s biggest competitors, E-Trade, had 4.9 million brokerage accounts at the end of 2019, with an annualized new account growth rate of seven percent.
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Part of the new funding round will certainly go to improve its app’s infrastructure-related issues. A fair number of its users were frustrated with trying to figure out how they fared during the first week of March 2020. Clients have complained about not having access to their accounts and having long wait times for customer service.
Robinhood’s most recent funding came from a $323 million Series E round led by DST Global and other venture capital firms, including Sequoia. At the time, in July 2019, the deal had put its valuation at $7.6 billion, up $2 billion from its Series D valuation in 2018.
Six years after Robinhood launched with no-fee trading, major brokerages were catching up with a wave of fee-eliminating announcements over the past two months. In the span of just a few weeks, nearly all US online brokers eliminated commissions, which could be a direct hit to the startup that kicked off the trend in 2013.
Robinhood’s offering is particularly popular among the “millennial” population, who appreciate the ease of using the app to trade several asset classes without fees. The company also unveiled plans for a bank account-like feature that will pay customers 2.05 percent interest and offer a no-fee debit card service.