Robinhood snaps up UK fintech Ziglu in global expansion

20 Apr 2022

Image: © Rafael Henrique/Stock.adobe.com

Nearly two years after dropping plans to expand in the UK, Robinhood is looking beyond the US with its Ziglu acquisition.

Stock and crypto trading platform Robinhood announced plans yesterday (19 April) to acquire UK fintech Ziglu, in a move that will help the controversial US company expand in the European market.

For a long time, Robinhood has concentrated on its business in the US, with an underwhelming IPO last summer that came just months after it was under fire for its role in the GameStop trading saga.

Future Human

According to CNBC, the company had plans to expand into the UK market nearly two years ago, which it dropped to prioritise its home market. Now, it is finally making the move across the Atlantic.

Ziglu is a London-based fintech platform that allows users to invest in a range of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, make payments and earn interest on holdings. Founded in 2018, the start-up has raised £17.5m so far and was last valued at £85m.

It is one of the few crypto companies that is registered with the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority, fulfilling a key requirement to operate in the market. It also has a licence to operate in the EU market, paving a path for Robinhood to expand across Europe.

“Ziglu and Robinhood share a common set of goals, working to reduce the barriers to entry for a new generation of investors, and we’re excited to pursue that mission together,” said Ziglu founder and CEO Mark Hipperson.

“As part of Robinhood, we’ll supercharge Robinhood’s expansion across Europe and bring better access to crypto and its benefits to millions more customers.”

Robinhood said that existing Ziglu customers will face no changes in the short term but the start-up will be integrated into its business in the longer term. Once completed, the acquisition will help launch Robinhood full-throttle in the UK market – with plans to then make its way to the rest of Europe.

Vlad Tenev, co-founder and CEO of Robinhood, praised Ziglu’s “impressive team of deeply experienced financial services and crypto experts” who will “will help us accelerate our global expansion efforts”.

“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 UK and Europe,” he said.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic

editorial@siliconrepublic.com