“The goal (of Robinhood) is to make the process of a trade as simple as hailing an Uber or posting a picture on Instagram,” said co-founder Vlad Tenev. Along with going mobile-first, Robinhood hopes to set themselves apart by not charging fees for trades. Robinhood recently raised an additional $13 million — for a total of $16 million — led by Index Ventures. Also in the round: financially focused Ribbit Capital, Howard Lindzon of StockTwits, Box CEO Aaron Levie, Path CEO Dave Morin, Jared Leto, Snoop Dogg and Nas.
--->I love seeing Snoop and Nas making fintech venture investments.
Standing in line for coffee may seem like an awkward time to trade stocks. But for the makers of the new app Robinhood, those casual moments are exactly when they want to reach a new generation of potential investors who might otherwise feel the markets are closed to them. Vlad Tenev and Baiju Bhatt, as many startup founders do, met at Stanford, and both spent time in the financial services industry before joining up to figure out what a stock brokerage built exclusively for mobile devices would look like. The issue, they say, isn’t just convenience: it’s access. “The fact that a lot of people, especially younger folks, are not investing in the stock market is something we really think needs addressing,” Bhatt says. The pair pitch Robinhood as a 21st-century alternative to traditional, stuffy brokerage firms that still rely on (gasp!) websites for their version of electronic trading. Trading stocks, Tenev says, should be as easy as summoning a ride on Uber or posting a picture to Instagram. Along with going mobile-first, the main way Tenev and Bhatt hope to set themselves apart is by not charging fees for trades.