Robinhood app downloads rise despite trading restrictions

Platform News: FinTech trading app Robinhood

The Robinhood app was downloaded more than any other US trading app last week, despite concerns that its restrictions on transactions involving some heavily shorted stocks such as GameStop Corp would alienate some users.

The app saw a massive 2.1 million downloads in the US on Google Play and App Store last week, as traders on Reddit and other public forums organized to buy the stocks shorted by hedge funds, according to data from vendor Sensor Tower. This equates to a 394% jump from the previous week for the controversial app.

This data could help ease Robinhood investor concerns that trading curbs imposed last week to cope with the deluge in orders would cost the app users ahead of a planned initial public offering later this year.

Many Reddit users had accused Robinhood of capitulating to the hedge funds by slapping on the restrictions. Robinhood Chief Executive Officer Vlad Tenev has argued the curbs were needed to safeguard its platform, given the collateral it needs to post to backstop many of the trades.

The platform “experienced record growth during some of the most challenging days operationally this past week as Robinhood continued to lead the industry in app downloads last week by a wide margin,” analysts at JPM Securities wrote in a note on Monday, citing data from SimilarWeb.

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Robinhood has declined to comment.

Competing brokerage businesses are also benefiting from the trading boom. Social Finance Inc’s app saw the biggest week-over-week growth in percentage terms, at 900%, followed by Fidelity with 751%.

A survey from Mizuho Securities highlighted that some unhappy Robinhood traders were leaving the app for platforms such as Cash, Stash and Fidelity.

“We believe this could drive some level of account movement, but the faster that firms like Robinhood get back to normal operations, the less attrition we would expect,” analysts at JPM wrote.

The team at Platform Executive hope you have enjoyed the ‘Robinhood app downloads rise despite trading restrictions‘ article. Translation from English to other languages via Google Cloud Translation. Initial reporting via our official content partners at Thomson Reuters. Reporting by Krystal Hu in New York. Editing by Andrea Ricci.

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