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Its market debut was weighed down by regulatory concerns and having an anti-democratic dual share class
Thursday 05 Aug 2021 Author: Martin Gamble

Investors initially gave stock market newbie Robinhood a big thumb’s down, making it one of the worst performing new issues in years after the shares fell over 8% on their first day of trading on Nasdaq.

However, the stock has since acted like a yo-yo, surging to $59.36 versus a $38 listing price.

That will come as some relief to the former high frequency traders and co-founders Baiju Bhatt and Vlad Tenev.

The initial lack of investor appeal seemed to revolve around the controversial business model which could be under threat from a regulatory review investigating whether investors using the Robinhood app to trade are receiving the best prices.

In addition, Robinhood has come under scrutiny for the gamification of investing, whereby it uses in-app prompts, rewards and bonuses to encourage frequent trading.

Robinhood doesn’t charge its customers commission but sells aggregate orders to market makers which pay a fee for the flow of trades. Such practices are banned in the UK and Canada.

The company doesn’t appear to have lived up to its mantra of ‘democratising investing’, given the dual share class structure of its listing which gives the founders 65% voting rights despite only holding 16% of the shares.

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