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Robinhood just became a crypto company. If it does things right, it won’t be for long

August 19, 2021, 2:40 PM UTC

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In the midst of cryptocurrency’s first Great Mainstreamification of 2017, Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev predicted millennials would continue to prefer equities over Bitcoin and its ilk.

“I wouldn’t say that we’re anticipating a massive shift from stocks to cryptocurrencies,” he told CNBC at the time. “We don’t see the equities market going away anytime soon.”

It’s a strange snapshot in time, because on Wednesday, the stock-trading app maker went from, well, that, to kind of… becoming a crypto company. Riding the frenzied interest in all things Bitcoin-related, Robinhood said that roughly 52% of its transaction-based revenues—its main line of business—came from cryptocurrencies in the second quarter of 2021. That’s up from just 3% from the same quarter a year earlier.

“In fact, this is the first quarter where we saw a larger share of new customers place their first trade in crypto rather than in equities,” Tenev said in the earnings call Wednesday, with CFO Jason Warnick noting: “We saw a decline in equity activity as our customers’ interest rotated from equities to crypto.” 

And there’s more:

  • 60% of Robinhood accounts dabbled in crypto in the second quarter.
  • 62% of its revenue from crypto-trading was attributable to Dogecoin, the Shiba Inu-inspired coin that started as a joke. 
  • At $233.1 million in the quarter, crypto revenue also represents Robinhood’s largest overall source of revenue in those three months, accounting for 41% of the total. Traditionally, options-related revenue was Robinhood’s largest single source of top-line dollars.
  • Growing 4,282% from the same quarter a year earlier, cryptocurrency revenue was the main driver of the company’s growth in the period.

The flipside to all of this however is that crypto can be highly volatile. Perhaps in part due to those concerns, shares of the company dipped and remained down by about 8% in early trading Thursday.

So even as Robinhood continues to grow its crypto business, what it really wants to be is not a crypto company per se. Instead, it’s looking for steadier streams of revenue and diversification in part to bulwark against risks like the one mentioned above. Here’s CFO Warnick again, in answering analyst questions on the call. 

“We want our customers to look to Robinhood’s debit card as their primary form of payment,” he said. “We want to be the single place that our customers go to for all things money. And that will lead naturally to diversification in our revenue streams over time.”

Meaning yes, crypto drove its growth this quarter. But if Robinhood plays its cards right, it won’t be a “crypto company” for long.

Lucinda Shen
Twitter: 
@shenlucinda
Email: 
lucinda.shen@fortune.com

Jessica Mathews compiled the IPO and SPAC sections of this newsletter.

VENTURE DEALS

- Databricks, a San Francisco-based data analysis company, has agreed to a raise that will value the company at $38 billion, per Newcomer.

- Kovi, a Brazilian car subscription company, raised $100 million (around R$500 million) in Series B funding. Valor Capital Group and Prosus Ventures led the round and were joined by investors including Quona, GFC, Monashees, UVC Investimentos, and Globo Ventures.

- Airlift, a Pakistan-based delivery service, raised $85 million in Series B funding. Harry Stebbings of 20VC and Josh Buckley of Buckley Ventures led the round.

- Canada Drives, a Canadian online car shopping company, raised $79.4 million (C$100 million) in Series B funding. Jeffrey Housenbold’s Honor Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including KAR Global. 

- Enable, a San Francisco-based software solution for rebate management, raised $45 million in Series B funding. Norwest Venture Partners led the round and was joined by investors including Menlo Ventures and Sierra Ventures.

- RepairSmith, a Los Angeles-based startup focused on automotive repair and maintenance, today raised $42 million in Series B funding. TI Capital, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche Ventures, and Spring Mountain Capital invested.

- Smallcase, a Bangalore-based wealth management company, raised $40 million in Series C funding. Faering Capital and Premji Invest led the round and were joined by investors including Sequoia Capital, Blume Ventures, Beenext, DSP Group, Arkam Ventures, WEH Ventures, and HDFC Bank.

- One, a Sacramento, Calif.-based banking startup, raised $40 million in Series B funding. Progressive Investment Company led the round and was joined by investors including Obvious Ventures, Foundation Capital, and Core Innovation Capital.

- High Definition Vehicle Insurance (HDVI) Group, a Chicago-based commercial auto insurance tech company, raised $32.5 million in Series B funding. Weatherford Capital led the round and was joined by investors including Daimler Trucks North America, McVestCo, Munich Re Ventures, 8VC, Autotech Ventures, and Qualcomm Ventures.

- Mountaintop, a San Francisco-based game studio from Oculus VR cofounder Nate Mitchell, raised $30 million in funding. Andreessen Horowitz led the round and was joined by investors including Spark Capital, Founders Fund, and Detroit Venture Partners.

- Trifecta, a Sacramento, Calif.-based organic food delivery service, raised $20 million in Series B funding. Spring Lake Equity Partners led the round.

- Opya, a San Mateo, Calif.-based autism care company, raised $15.4 million in Series A funding. Investors include Panoramic Ventures, SB Opportunity Fund, Disability Opportunity Fund, and Raven One Ventures.

- Memmo.me, a Stockholm-based Cameo competitor, raised $12 million. Left Lane Capital led the round.

- Beta Hatch, a St. Louis-based agtech startup focused on insects, raised $10 million. Lewis & Clark AgriFood led the round and was joined by investors including Cavallo Ventures and Innova Memphis.

- Ondo, a New York City-based DeFi company, raised $4 million. Pantera Capital led the round and was joined by investors including Genesis, Digital Currency Group, CMS, CoinFund, Chapter One, Bixin, Divergence, Protoscale Capital, and The LAO.

- Webiny, a platform for building apps and websites, raised $3.5 million in seed funding. M12 led the round and was joined by investors including Samsung Next, Episode 1, and Cota Capital.

- Hiration, a San Francisco and India-based resume builder, raised $3 million in seed funding. Investors included Prime Venture Partners, Venture Highway, and Y Combinator.

- Launch House, a Los Angeles-based program connecting creators and founders, raised $3 million in seed funding. Flybridge Capital Partners led the round and was joined by Day One Ventures and Graph Ventures.

- Anchor Yacht Rentals, a St. Petersburg, Fla.-based marketplace for matching yacht owners to renters, raised $2.5 million in seed funding. Silverton Partners led the round.

- Out Of Office, a Chicago-based travel app, raised $1.6 million in pre-seed funding. Investors included Brand Foundry, Steven Galanis (CEO of Cameo), Chris Brown (former Chief Product Officer Orbitz), Jessie Dixon (Former Havenly COO), and Liz White (CCO at Ashley Stewart).

PRIVATE EQUITY

- A consortium led by Nordic Capital and Insight Partners acquired Inovalon (Nasdaq: INOV), a Bowie, Md.-based healthcare data company, valuing it at $7.3 billion. 22C Capital also participated.

- PSG invested €60 million in Sport Alliance, a German software solution for gyms and fitness suites.

- Nonantum Capital Partners acquired Helix Traffic Solutions, a traffic safety and safety services company. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Solum Partners acquired a majority stake in Monte Vista Farming Company, a Denair, Calif.-based almond sheller and processor. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

EXIT

- Kohlberg acquired Myers EPS, a Mt. Kisco, N.Y.-based emergency lighting manufacturer, from Graham Partners. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

- Linktree acquired Songlink/Odesli, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based automated music link aggregation platform. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

OTHER

- The CME Group (Nasdaq: CME) denied reports from the Financial Times that it was looking to acquire Cboe Global Markets (BATS: CBOE), a Chicago-based options exchange, for $16 billion.

- Commure, backed by General Catalyst, acquired PatientKeeper, a Waltham, Mass.-based health record software company, from HCA Healthcare. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

IPO

- GlobalFoundries Inc., a Malta, New York-based semiconductor manufacturer, confidentially filed for an IPO, per Reuters. An IPO could value the company at around $25 billion. Mubadala Investment owns the firm.

- Yitu Technology, a Shanghai-based A.I. and facial recognition company, is considering a Hong Kong IPO, per Bloomberg, which could value the company at around $4 billion. The firm formerly attempted to list in Shanghai.

- InferVision, a Beijing-based medical A.I. company that is being used in Europe to detect COVID variants, is preparing for an IPO in Hong Kong, per Bloomberg. Goldman Sachs Asset Management and Qiming Venture Partners back the firm.

- Procept Biorobotics Corp., a Redwood City, Calif.-based surgical robotics company, filed for an IPO. The company generated $7.7 million in revenue in 2020 and reported a net loss of $53 million. Fidelity Investments and Viking Global Investors back the firm.

- Klarna Bank, a Swedish fintech-bank and post-purchase payment company, is weighing an IPO for as early as 2022, according to Bloomberg.

- SenseTime, a Beijing-based AI software provider, could file for an IPO in China as early as the end of this month, per Reuters.

- Iris Energy, an Australian Bitcoin mining firm, filed confidentially for an IPO in the U.S., per Bloomberg.

SPAC

- Hagerty, a Traverse City, Mich.-based car insurance company for collector and classic vehicles, will go public via a merger with FG Financial Group, Inc., a SPAC. A deal could value the company at $3.13 billion.

F+FS

- FinTech Collective, a New York-based venture capital firm, raised $250 million across two funds.

- Global From Day 1, a New Zealand-based venture capital firm, raised $130 million for its third fund.

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