Shares of popular stock trading app Robinhood rose roughly 5% on Tuesday after the company said it has signed a deal to buy Ziglu, a London-based cryptocurrency trading app, as it looks to lay the groundwork for expanding into the UK and Europe.
Robinhood has signed a deal to buy British fintech app Ziglu, an electronic money institution that lets users buy and sell 11 different cryptocurrencies as well as make payments overseas.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, while the acquisition remains subject to regulatory approvals, according to an announcement from both companies on Tuesday.
Robinhood shares rose around 5% on the news, a brief respite from ongoing struggles which have seen the company lose nearly two-thirds of its market value since going public on the Nasdaq last summer.
The announcement is part of Robinhood’s “aggressive goals” to open up its cryptocurrency trading platform to customers internationally, and it comes just two weeks after the company extended crypto wallet services to more than two million U.S. customers.
Robinhood said in its press release that its long-term goal is to eventually “integrate” Ziglu customers onto its platform, as it will serve as a key part of the plans to “accelerate” international expansion into the UK and Europe.
It remains to be seen whether the latest move can help reverse Robinhood’s downturn in which shares have lost 40% this year, and as the company faces a significant slowdown in trading activity from retail investors—both in stocks and cryptocurrencies.
The planned acquisition of Ziglu comes almost two years after Robinhood halted its initial plans to launch in the UK, with the company instead choosing to focus on domestic customer growth at the time.
With Robinhood’s recent stock struggles, cofounders Vlad Tenev and Baiju Bhatt both lost their billionaire status in January 2022, according to Forbes. The pair first became billionaires in September 2020 after Robinhood was valued at nearly $12 billion in a private funding round, according to Forbes’ calculations.
Robinhood CEO and co-founder Vlad Tenev insisted that the deal will “bring the Robinhood brand overseas” and help his company expand internationally. “Together with the Ziglu team, we’ll work to leverage the best of both companies, exploring new ways to innovate and break down barriers for customers across the U.K. and Europe,” he said in a press release.
What To Watch For:
Whether the deal to buy Ziglu can help boost Robinhood’s slowing user growth, which has declined notably since the trading frenzy around meme stocks like GameStop And AMC Entertainment last year. Robinhood’s monthly active users fell to 17.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2021—down from nearly 19 million a quarter earlier. The stock trading platform is now forecasting first-quarter revenue of less than $340 million, a 35% drop from the same period a year ago.
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