CFDs are leveraged products. CFD trading may not be suitable for everyone and can result in losses that exceed your deposits, so please consider our Risk Disclosure Notice and ensure that you fully understand the risks involved. CFDs are leveraged products. CFD trading may not be suitable for everyone and can result in losses that exceed your deposits, so please consider our Risk Disclosure Notice and ensure that you fully understand the risks involved.

Robinhood IPO

Get exposure to Robinhood before and after its initial public offering (IPO) – with the world’s No.1 CFD provider.1

Call +41 (0) 58 810 77 42 to talk about opening a trading account. We’re here from Monday to Friday from 9am to 6pm.

Contact us: +41 (0) 58 810 77 42

Call +41 (0) 58 810 77 42 to talk about opening a trading account. We’re here from Monday to Friday from 9am to 6pm.

Contact us: +41 (0) 58 810 77 42

Why trade Robinhood's IPO with IG Bank?

With us, you can trade Robinhood’s IPO before the company lists using our exclusive Robinhood grey market. Once the IPO is complete, you can also buy and sell the company’s shares with CFDs.2 But, bear in mind it can take a few hours for US stocks to become available on the day of their IPO.

Trade pre-IPO

Take a position on Robinhood before it lists with our exclusive grey market3

Speculate on Robinhood

Open a position on the future price of Robinhood shares using CFDs

Trade wherever you want

Thanks to our easy-to-use platforms and apps

Robinhood IPO: How to buy and trade Robinhood shares

  • Before the listing
  • After the listing

Trade Robinhood ahead of its listing with our exclusive ‘grey market’. The price reflects what our clients expect Robinhood’s market cap to be at the end of its first trading day.

With the Robinhood grey market, you’d:

  • ‘Buy’ if you think the market cap will be higher than the price indicated
  • ‘Sell’ if you think the market cap will be lower than the price indicated

What is a grey market and how does it work?

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With IG Bank, you can get exposure to Robinhood shares in the same way as you would with any other shares listed on the stock market. You can speculate on share price movements using CFDs.

Trading Robinhood shares

When you trade Robinhood shares with us, you’ll use CFDs to speculate on the stock’s future price movements. You won’t take ownership of the underlying assets when trading, which means you can speculate on both rising and falling prices, and get various tax benefits.4

Plus, you’ll only need a small deposit – known as margin – to open your position, while still getting exposure to the full value of the trade. It’s important to note that while leveraged trading can magnify your profits, it can also magnify your losses. This makes it important to manage your risk appropriately.

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Open an account now

Fast execution on a huge range of markets

Enjoy flexible access to more than 17 000 global markets, with reliable execution

Deal seamlessly, wherever you are

Trade on the move with our natively designed, award-winning trading app

Feel secure with a trusted provider

With 45 years of experience, we’re proud to offer a truly market-leading service

Open an account now

Open an account now

Fast execution on a huge range of markets

Enjoy flexible access to more than 17 000 global markets, with reliable execution

Deal seamlessly, wherever you are

Trade on the move with our natively designed, award-winning trading app

Feel secure with a trusted provider

With 45 years of experience, we’re proud to offer a truly market-leading service

Start trading now

Log in to your account now to access today’s opportunity in a huge range of markets.

Start trading now

Log in to your account now to access today’s opportunity in a huge range of markets.

When could the Robinhood IPO happen?

The Robinhood IPO could take place in the second quarter of 2021. Robinhood stated that the IPO is expected to happen after the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) completes its review process, if market and other conditions permit.

Our analysis on the Robinhood IPO

By Sam Dickens

Background

Robinhood is a US stock trading app thought to be used by around 20 million investors. Launched in 2013, Robinhood have managed to entice the next generation of US share traders by offering zero commissions, an easy-to-use app and fractional share dealing.

While Robinhood’s growth has impressed, they have also singlehandedly forced other US brokers to slash commissions to zero in order to remain competitive. This has led to a number of monster mergers between some of the largest brokers and banks in the US market.

In October 2020, Charles Schwab purchased TD Ameritrade to create a company with over $6 trillion in client assets and 28 million accounts. At the same time, Morgan Stanley acquired E*TRADE to create a wealth platform with $3.3 trillion in client assets.

Revenues

Instead of generating revenue from trading commissions, Robinhood makes money through some “behind the scenes” activities.

A major source of revenue is known as payment for order flow (PFOF), where a broker directs client trades to an off-exchange trading venue in return for a fee. This practice is banned in the UK and Europe as it creates a conflict of interest as firms are thought to be incentivised to direct client trades to the venue providing the biggest kick-back instead of ensuring the client receives the best price available.

Another way Robinhood earns money is by investing client cash in money markets to earn a small yield. However, with the Federal Reserve slashing its policy rate to zero in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the revenue opportunity here has diminished.

The combination of zero interest rates and the inability to receive a kick-back on order flow saw Robinhood pull plans to launch in the UK last year.

Other sources of revenue include margin lending, its premium “Gold” service (which gives users additional benefits for $5 a month) and securities lending, where it loans a client’ stock to a third party who wishes to short the short in exchange for a fee.

Valuations

Since 2013, Robinhood has raised over $5.6 billion, which fuelled its tremendous growth. And while many industries have suffered during the pandemic, Robinhood and other investment platforms have seen a surge in demand as retail investors piled into the stock market, betting on a market recovery.

It is therefore no surprise that Robinhood plans to capitalise on this stock market exuberance through their initial public offering (IPO), which is expected to happen in the second quarter of 2021.

Investors will have to wait to see what valuation will be given to the company, but it will likely be in excess of the $11.7 billion price tag it was given in its latest funding round in September 2020 – which raised $460 million. Latest reports suggest the company may achieve a $40 billion valuation.

Although a number of mergers in the industry have diminished the pool of competitors, the table below compares Robinhood to a few other US investment platforms using April 2021 data.

Valuation Revenue (2020) Customers Client assets
Charles Schwab $121.4 billion $11.691 million 31.5 million $6.9 trillion
Interactive Brokers $31.4 billion $2.218 million 1.2 million $71.5 billion
Robinhood $11.7 billion $682 million* 13 million $20 billion

Source: Craft.co

*IG estimate. Robinhood generated $682 million from payment for order flow in 2020 which is estimated to make up around 50% of total revenue.

A $12 billion valuation prices Robinhood close to the amount Morgan Stanley paid for E*TRADE, which had fewer clients than Robinhood but 30 times the client assets.

But Robinhood has already managed to beat other brokerages in trading activity, which has helped fuel its trading revenue. In June 2020, Robinhood took $4.3 million daily average revenue trades (DARTs) compared to TD Ameritrade’s $3.8 million, Interactive Brokers’ $1.9 million, Charles Schwab's $1.8 million, and E*TRADE's $1.1 million.

Whether this is sustainable is another question, as market volatility is likely to return to more normal levels, which will reduce levels of client acquisition and trading activity.

What’s more, the market values transactional revenue far lower than annuity-based revenue given their volatile nature. While Robinhood’s expected revenue growth may warrant a higher price multiple compared to other brokers, its reliance on trading revenue should offset this somewhat.

Future challenges

Although its client base is highly active, a major challenge for Robinhood will be encouraging people to entrust it with a larger part of their investing wallet. At present, it has an estimated average client balance of around $1,500 - a fraction of competitors, such as Charles Schwab, have an average of $135,000.

This trust is difficult to build and the company has not helped itself in the way it has positioned its app at the lower end of the market, but offers the same complex products that more informed investors may use.

Robinhood suffered a number of major outages recently as the app was overwhelmed during the coronavirus pandemic, which has led to several investor lawsuits.

Robinhood also faced a civil fraud investigation last year over its failure to disclose its payment for order flow practice. Robinhood chose to settle with the Securities and Exchange Commission, paying a $65 million fine in December 2020.

What is Robinhood's business model?

Robinhood is a discount brokerage, which offers commission-free trading. It now boasts a customer base of over 13 million investors. It’s estimated that the firm generated approximately $180 million from trades in Q2 2020. Robinhood’s commission-free trading app has a sleek and simple user interface, which has attracted novice and tech-savvy investors alike, but it has particularly struck a chord with the vast majority of younger investors – the company’s average client is 31 years old.

Robinhood generates most of its income from payments for order flow – a practice where the firm receives compensation for directing orders to different parties, usually market makers. Payment for order flow is typically paid on a per share basis. However, Robinhood receives a fixed rate per spread, which is higher than the average rate the other major brokers receive.

What's the outlook for Robinhood stock?

Robinhood has so far experienced rapid growth – increasing from 100,000 users in 2013 to 13 million users today. If the company does IPO, it has an estimated valuation of $11.7 billion.

However, as share trading commissions were drastically reduced by major online brokers throughout 2020, the speed of Robinhood’s growth has slowed – the company is no longer the stand-out, cheapest competitor. This could prevent share price growth over the long term if Robinhood doesn’t expand into other markets, although its client base is extremely loyal to the firm and as yet, it hasn’t failed to raise capital in funding rounds.

Robinhood has also faced issues over its execution services, which could stunt any widespread adoption by more experienced investors. While most brokers have best execution practices, which they charge a commission for, Robinhood’s execution was far more simplistic – it reached out to whichever market makers had the cheapest and lowest costs. In fact, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) fined Robinhood $1.25 million for failing to direct trades so that its customers received the best prices.

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FAQs

Where can I find the Robinhood grey market?

You can find the Robinhood IPO grey market in the ‘popular markets’ watchlist on our platform. Our exclusive grey market is the only way you can trade Robinhood before its listing.

Could I profit from the Robinhood IPO?

You could profit from the Robinhood IPO. Before the listing, you could take advantage of our exclusive grey market price – which moves to reflect expectations for the company’s market cap at the end of its first trading day. You’d profit if you correctly predict the direction of market movement. If your prediction is incorrect, you’d take a loss.

After the listing, you could make money by speculating on Robinhood shares using CFDs – you’d only profit if your prediction of the future share price movements were correct. So, you’d take a loss if your prediction is incorrect. Alternatively, you could buy Robinhood shares outright and sell them at a later date for profit, if the share price rises. When selling your shares, you’d take a loss if the share price has decreased below the amount at which you opened your position, with your risk capped at the amount you committed to buy the shares.

What are grey markets and how do they work?

Grey markets enable traders to get exposure to a company before it lists on a stock exchange. When you decide to trade the grey market, you’re trading on the estimated market valuation of a company. The final valuation will only be known after the first day of trading – and it is based on the demand shown by the market that day.

So, if you think a company’s market cap will be higher than the grey market price, you’ll ‘buy’. If you think it will be lower than the grey market price, you’ll sell.

How do IPOs work?

An IPO occurs when a company decides to start selling its shares to the public. Most companies list shares to raise capital to fund expansion, pay debts, attract and retain talent, or monetise assets.

First, an audit must be conducted – considering all aspects of the company’s financials. Then, the business has to prepare a registration statement to file with the appropriate exchange commission. If approved, the company will list a defined number of shares at a price set by an investment bank. The shares will be available for sale through the chosen stock exchange.

Learn more about how IPOs work

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1 Based on revenue excluding FX (published financial statements, October 2020).
2 Stock may take a few hours to be available to buy and sell on the day of listing for US IPOs.
3 We do not offer grey markets on all IPOs.
4 Tax laws are subject to change and depend on individual circumstances. Tax law may differ in a jurisdiction other than Switzerland.