As Robinhood becomes a public company, Index partner Jan Hammer highlights what he sees as its defining characteristics. All illustrations by Jiaqi Wang.

In this post: Robinhood

"Congrats Baiju, Vlad and Robinhood team on today’s IPO! You’ve opened up the world of finance, brought down barriers, and demonstrated that everyone can be an investor."
— Jan Hammer, Index Ventures
03_accessforall_1920 (1).gif

The financial crisis brought the system to its knees. Instead of staying on the sidelines, you did something about it: you launched Robinhood.

RH_Twitter 5_Occupy.jpg

450,000 people lined up to get access to the app. The queue broke all waitlist records. Enthusiasm was unprecedented for a financial product. Clearly this wasn’t just hype: it was the product that the next generation of financial consumers had been hungry for.

RH_Twitter 1_Waitlist.jpg

You saw how incumbents charged hefty fees and demanded high deposits. You shook the industry by introducing zero-commission trades.

RH_Twitter 2_Zero Dollars.jpg

You married beautiful and intuitive design with complex, custom-built technology. You refused to compromise on what lay under the hood, creating an entirely new type of brokerage from scratch.

RH_Twitter 4_Brilliant Design.jpg

The two of you are perfectly complementary business partners. You bring reason and emotion, back-end and front-end, ambition and pragmatism. You stood side-by-side and built a world-class team.

RH_Twitter 6_Complementary Founders.jpg

You always believed in creating a standalone public company, and took the hard road at each step of the way – you never lost sight of your vision.

RH_Twitter 7_Hard road.jpg

While everyone was fighting over the same customers, you rewrote the rules of what it means to be an investor and got a new generation to take part.

RH_Twitter 8_Pie.jpg

Since founding the company over 8 years ago, you’ve continued to win new supporters. You raised funds to grow and brought on partners who share your vision and ambition.

RH_Twitter 10_Magic Cards.jpg

I am immensely proud of what you’ve achieved. It’s been an absolute privilege to work with you and we're wishing you the best of luck as a public company. Onwards!

Published — July 29, 2021