Trading app Robinhood may have suspended its plans for an IPO after public opinion turned against the company in the wake of the response to the brief press on GameStop (GME).
According to Fox Business Network’s Charles Gasparino, sources within Robinhood say the company’s sole focus is to survive the fallout from the drama in which it is currently engulfed, and that it will temporarily interrupt its plans for an IPO launch.
SCOOP: Ppl in @Robin_Robin to tell @SeanHealthy plans for an IPO are on hold to focus on surviving the current drama about stock trading and settlement issues. Execs say they have access to even more capital than the additional funds raised today. Lake @TeamCavuto 1230 hours
– Charles Gasparino (@CGasparino) February 1, 2021
As reported by TechcrunchRobinhood CEO Vlad Tenev was questioned by none other than Elon Musk on the inviting-only app Clubhouse, where Tenev revealed the extent of the company’s losses.
According to Tenev, he woke up early on Jan. 28 to find a $ 3 billion bill from the National Securities Clearing Corporation, to be paid immediately. Tenev provided context for that number, saying:
Robinhood has raised approximately $ 2 billion in venture capital to date. So far, it’s a big number, like $ 3 billion is a big number, right. “
The Wall Street Journal reported by February 1, Robinhood had raised an additional $ 2.4 billion from investors, bringing the total amount raised since last Thursday to $ 3.4 billion. While the company apparently has no liquidity issues, it appears to have reasoned that its current public perception would not be conducive to a successful IPO.
Indeed, a vast majority of professionals surveyed believe that Robinhood ruined his chances of an IPO because of his behavior during the recent GameStop saga.
An anonymous survey The Blind Networking Forum asked 8,750 verified professionals from major tech and financial services firms if they thought Robinhood had “screwed up its IPO.” The results showed that 83% believed the company’s chances of a successful IPO had been irretrievably affected.
The response of 37 Robinhood employees surveyed was markedly different. Only 13.5% believe the company has the opportunity to ever see a successful IPO launch, while 86.5% believe it can still go ahead.
A self-effacing comment from a Facebook employee expressed the view that while the IPO could continue, Robinhood would forever suffer the same negative public opinion as the ubiquitous social media giant. They wrote:
Robinhood is the next Facebook. Something a lot of people will use, but it has a negative undertone and brand. “
Public opinion soured on Robinhood following the company’s decision to ban retail purchase orders in the midst of the Reddit-inspired short squeeze at GameStop. Keen-eyed observers quickly pointed out the possible conflict of interest as 35% of Robinhood’s revenues came from the same firm that suffered heavy losses at the hands of the r / Wallstreetbets-organized group of collective traders.
Robinhood has since stated that the only reason it halted store orders was because it failed to meet its obligations to the NSCC, which requires that day-to-day trading obligations be fully covered.
The company was contacted for comment, but had not responded at the time of publication.