Robinhood’s growing crypto business is delaying its IPO plans
Robinhood Markets Inc., which had sought to go public this month, has seen its listing plans slowed in recent weeks by a back-and-forth with regulators over its prospectus, according to people familiar with the matter.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has been asking Robinhood about its growing cryptocurrency business, one of the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private.
While a listing might come this summer, the popular trading app’s plans could also slip into the fall, one of the people said. The company aims to reveal its financials as soon as possible and to go public as soon as the SEC finishes its review, they said.Subscribe to The Ledger for expert weekly analysis on fintech’s big stories, delivered free to your inbox.
Robinhood said it filed confidentially for an initial public offering in March. It had been targeting June for its IPO but then that plan slipped to July, Bloomberg News has reported.
A representative for Robinhood declined to comment. A spokesperson for the SEC didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Robinhood rolled out cryptocurrency trading in 2018. Today, its customers can trade cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, as well as Dogecoin, which originated as a joke. With about half of Robinhood users being first-time investors, Robinhood often serves as an entry point for novices to virtual currency markets, which can be volatile.
Crypto investors are having a particularly wild ride this year. The price of Bitcoin briefly jumped above $64,000 in mid-April, egged on by high-profile advocates like Elon Musk. The rally didn’t last, and Bitcoin dipped below $40,000 in June. The SEC, under new Chairman Gary Gensler, is poised to make a number of critical rulings on the virtual tokens in coming months.
Robinhood’s application comes amid a busy year at the SEC for IPOs including those for special purpose acquisition companies, creating a backlog of equity capital markets work.
Agency staff warned lawyers this year that it may take 30 days to review paperwork for SPACs and to expect an additional two weeks to hear back on changes or amendments, Bloomberg News reported.
Robinhood, which soared in popularity—and controversy—during the coronavirus pandemic, appointed new board members this month. A key player in the meme stock frenzy, the company announced it would enable customers to buy into IPOs, including its own listing.
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