Google parent company Alphabet dumps last of its Robinhood shares
Alphabet Inc., Google‘s parent company, has divested itself of 100% of its holdings in Robinhood Markets, per a Nov. 9 13F-HR filing.
The firm reported 0 Class A shares in Robinhood (US:HOOD) as of Sep. 30, 2023, down from 612,214 shares from its previous filing on Aug. 4.
Robinhood, known for its commission-free trades and user-friendly interface, had previously attracted a significant early investment from Alphabet. However, Alphabet’s decision to sever ties with Robinhood is the culmination of progressive reductions in its stake — a drastic, nearly 90% cut had already been made in months prior.
As reported by Reuters, Robinhood’s market appeal began declining due to the Federal Reserve’s rate hikes last year, resulting in unfavorable economic conditions. This, coupled with a slowdown in trading, resulted in the app falling short of Wall Street estimates for revenue in its third-quarter earnings report. Consequently, Robinhood’s customer base appeared less active.
Despite rocky revenues, Robinhood has been forging ahead with its strategic growth plans. It recently unveiled plans to introduce cryptocurrency trading in the European Union following regulatory approval. This EU crypto launch is part of the firm’s broader growth strategy and is set to follow the imminent launch of brokerage services in the UK.
However, all these ambitious expansion plans coexist with challenges. The trading app’s cryptocurrency transaction revenue fell 55% year-on-year to $23 million in Q3 2023. Yet, despite this dip, Robinhood remains steadfast in its mission to offer crypto products internationally to broaden its customer base.
Furthermore, the scale of Robinhood’s involvement in the cryptocurrency market is immense. Per an Aug. 30 report by Arkham Intelligence, Robinhood held the fifth-largest account on the Ethereum blockchain and the third-largest Bitcoin address, the latter of which holds more than $4.3 billion in Bitcoin.
The firm has also had success in reacquiring its own shares that had been bought by Sam Bankman-Fried. On Sep. 1, 2023, Robinhood struck a deal with the U.S. Marshal Service to repurchase shares seized from Bankman-Fried’s Emergent Fidelity Technologies for $605.7 million. This deal came after the U.S. government had taken custody of Bankman-Fried’s Robinhood shares when FTX and Emergent filed for bankruptcy protection the previous year.