Robinhood gets UK licence

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Robinhood, the firm behind the crypto investment app that includes ETFs and stocks, has been given the green light to operate as a broker in the United Kingdom, Coindesk reports.

Robinhood International, the firm’s subsidiary, received a broker’s licence from the UK’s financial watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) this week. This allows it to launch its products in the UK market.

As part of the announcement, Robinhood said that it had appointed former TransferWise executive, Wander Rutgers, as president to lead its UK operations from a new London office.

When at TransferWise, Rutgers was head of treasury and product, following a stint as head of banking and expansion. Before arriving at Robinhood, he had also led product at Plum, an investment and savings app.

Rutgers had this to say about the new UK licence: “Today marks the beginning of a new chapter for Robinhood, and we’re excited to take the first important step towards bringing our investing platform to customers in the UK. I’m thrilled to be a part of Robinhood and our effort to expand into a new international market.”

To date, Robinhood has raised $862 million over seven funding rounds, a substantial proportion of it coming from investors such as DST Global, Ribbit Capital and Sequoia, who contributed to a $323 million Series E in June. And earlier this year, the app with the name of one of the UK’s best-loved historical figures (Robin Hood) was granted a ‘BitLicense’ by New York Department of Financial Services bringing its US coverage to 30 states.

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