Robinhood, the owner of the eponymous investment app, has received a licence allowing it to operate as a broker in the UK.
The UK’s financial regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), gave the licence to Robinhood International, a subsidiary of the Menlo Park, California-based financial services company. The firm welcomed the development in a blog post, saying that it bringing its platform in the UK was “a critical step to achieve our mission of democratizing finance for all”.
In addition to stock and ETF and option trading, the Robinhood platform also offers Bitcoin (BTC) trading. In January, the company received a “BitLicense” from New York Department of Financial Services. Its crypto offering is currently available in 40 American states.
In addition to winning the licence, Robinhood also appointed Wander Rutgers as president of Robinhood International. In his new role, Rutgers will lead the Robinhood’s UK business and oversee the company’s new London office. According to the company’s announcement, Rutgers has a deep background in fintech. Prior to joining Robinhood, his most recent role was as head of the investing and savings product Plum. Before that, he led product, compliance, and operations teams at TransferWise.
“Today marks the beginning of a new chapter for Robinhood, and we’re excited to take the first important step towards bringing our investing platform to customers in the UK,” Rutgers said yesterday regarding the FCA approval. “I’m thrilled to be a part of Robinhood and our effort to expand into a new international market,” Rutgers added.
Since its launch in April, 2013, Robinhood has had seven funding rounds and has raised $862 million to date. In its most recent round, which was conducted in June, the start-up was backed by a number of investors, including DST Global, Ribbit Capital and Sequoia.
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