The modern Robin hood is an App.
Two years ago I tried to watch the BBC’s show “Robin Hood” (I can’t say I enjoyed it, better watch Arrow) , but in the show there was a great Quote that I really liked: “In times of tyranny and injustice, when law oppresses the people, the outlaw takes his place in history”. I am pretty sure that, Baiju Bhatt and Vladimir Tenev, like this Quote also. The reason I mention them is because they are the founders of Robinhood, an App that provides its users free stock trading and its mission is to Democratize access to the financial market.
Some of you may ask right now “Why is the financial market in tyranny? “, well not exactly or at least I wouldn’t call it tyranny. The problem isn’t in the financial market but in the brokerages who ask from 7$ (USA) to 65$ (Australia) to make a stock trade. As you can see, high cost creates a barrier and people who want to join the financial market and invest in some stocks or other financial products. Thus, if someone doesn’t have the budget to cover the expenses can’t “vote” and this is the problem Robinhood is ready to eliminate.
Robinhood started in April 2013 and within a very short period of time was able to create a very good and reliable App. Of course this wasn’t a matter of luck, both founders had an experience in building algorithmic trading and investment bank software for other companies. After all this time Robinhood is one of the most successful App in financial services and stock trading, it was able to surpass the fail of Zecco (Also a company that tried to launch the free trade concept) and most importantly after three founding rounds was able to raise 66 million $ and has more than 100 thousand users.
It is important to pinpoint that Robinhood has also “enemies”, many experts in the financial sector had openly said that Robinhood and its business model can create a problem to its users because the zero commission can sometimes be misleading. What they mainly support is that because someone has free trade will make more trades and thus in the end maybe lose more money. Also, many believe that the financial market can be a “dangerous place” for people who don’t have an experience or an educational background in the subject and Robinhood is trying to make it look way too easy.
But to be honest, Robinhood had create an algorithm that protect users from making to many transactions or investing a big amount, so they have a customer protection policy and in my opinion it is good.
So is Robinhood a Hero App?? Not yet but maybe in a year or two if they have more users, more transactions and they are able to start reaching a higher percentage of transactions in a big market, then we will have a hero app in progress. I hope they succeed and bring a different mentality in the financial services.