Robinhood Enters the UK Market, Cathie Wood Increases Stake
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Robinhood Enters the UK Market, Cathie Wood Increases Stake

Robinhood's shares advanced in Thursday's premarket after the firm announced plans to launch its platform in the UK in early 2024.
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Shares of Robinhood (NASDAQ: HOOD) climbed over 3% in premarket trading Thursday after the online investments app announced plans to roll out its platform in the UK next year. The announcement came just days after one of Cathie Wood’s ETFs bought over 143,000 Robinhood shares for over $1.2 million.

Robinhood Plans Complete UK Launch in Early 2024

On Thursday, the popular stock trading app Robinhood announced it plans to launch its platform in the UK in early 2024, marking its first international expansion since debuting in the US more than ten years ago. 

The investments platform will allow UK users to trade a selection of 6,000 US stocks 24 hours a day, five days a week. Robinhood, which offers both stock and crypto trading services, already operates this model in the US, allowing investors to buy and sell stocks outside regular trading hours. 

The company is granting early access to UK users starting today for those who enter the waitlist and plans to perform a complete launch sometime in early 2024. Also, the platform will not make UK stocks available initially but plans to add them as it introduces more products into the app. The UK version will neither allow options and derivatives trading at launch. 

This is Robinhood’s third attempt to enter the UK market. In 2019, the financial services firm rolled out a waiting list, attracting 300,000 signups. However, the company then rolled back its expansion plan, citing soaring demand in the US as interest in retail investing saw an abrupt surge amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

The second attempt was made in 2022 when Robinhood tried to acquire UK crypto trading app Ziglu, but the deal failed, resulting in a $12 million impairment charge. 

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Cathie Wood’s Ark Invest Buys Robinhood, Sells Coinbase Shares

Earlier this week, Cathie Wood Ark’s Invest bought more than 143,000 Robinhood shares for about $1.2 million. The investment for its Ark Fintech Innovation ETF was made just days after ARK Next Generation Internet fund bought over 93,000 Robinhood shares.

On the same day Ark Fintech invested in Robinhood, Wood sold $5.3 million of Coinbase’s (NASDAQ: COIN) shares, taking profits from the crypto exchange’s stock ascent to an 18-month high. 

Some other stocks Ark Invest recently acquired include Unity Software, Teladoc, Zoom Video, and Communications. Across all of her 6 ETFs combined, Coinbase remains Wood’s biggest stock holding, with the total worth exceeding $1.2 billion at current market prices. 

Do you think the UK move is the start of a broader international expansion for Robinhood? Where do you think the online trading app could expand into next? Let us know in the comments below.