Snoop Dogg, Nas and Jared Leto Invest in Free Stock Trade App Robinhood
Snoop Dogg, Nas and Jared Leto have delivered a shot of star power to the latest round of financing for Robinhood, a new no-commission brokerage website that hopes to make trading stocks as easy as hitting "X" on Tinder. The startup announced this week that it raised $13 million in Series A funding, led by Index Ventures as well as Howard Lindzon of StockTwits and the trio of celebs.
Robinhood raised $3 million in seed money back in December 2013, with early investors including Index, Andreessen Horowitz, IT Ventures and QueensBridge Ventures, Nas' Los Angeles-based venture capital firm. See a full list of investors here.
The app looks to give average-joe investors a free and easy way to make trades, bypassing firms like TD Ameritrade or Charles Schwab that charge up to $10 per transaction. "We believe there’s something inherently wrong with that, and we’re on a path to change it," said a company statement announcing the funding round. "Robinhood’s powerfully engineered technology and carefully designed mobile experience will allow everyday investors to trade with zero commissions."
The company says nearly 500,000 people are already on the waiting list to join the service, which founders Vlad Tenev and Baiju Bhatt hope to launch in early 2015. The early adopters tend to be younger than your typical investor, with 80 percent of them between 18-29 years old, Tenev and Bhatt told Recode.
The new funding will go towards hiring more engineers and designers. Twenty people currently work for the company, which is based out of Palo Alto, Calif.