Many startup founders dream of the day their creation claims the top spot in Apple Inc.’s app store. For Vlad Tenev, Robinhood Markets Inc.’s chief executive, it was more like a nightmare.
Mr. Tenev and his co-founder, Baiju Bhatt, had set out eight years earlier to bring the stock market to a new class of investors. With engineers plucked from Facebook Inc. and other tech giants, they stripped down the trading experience and eliminated commissions, making buying a share of stock about as easy as posting a photo on Instagram.
It worked. During the pandemic, throngs of amateur investors—homebound, bored and flush with stimulus checks—opened Robinhood accounts to experience the market’s thrills. By the end of December, the firm had amassed about 20 million users, according to people close to it, and weeks later its app hit the top of download charts.
Author(s): Peter Rudegeair, Kirsten Grind and Maureen Farrell
Publication Date: 5 February 2021
Publication Site: Wall Street Journal