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Robinhood trading data shows it blowing away rivals

Robinhood founder Baiju Bhatt

Stock trading app Robinhood has released daily trading data for the first time, which shows it outgunning its online broker rivals.

The fee-free broker hosted 4.3 million daily average revenue trades, or DARTS, in June.

This puts the Menlo Park, California-based startup — which was founded in 2013 and now has 13 million customers — far ahead of its more established rivals.

Robinhood uses this key industry measure even though it does not charge fees.

Robinhood ahead of TD Ameritrade, E-Trade and others

TD Ameritrade saw the next highest monthly total at 3.84 million DARTs, according to the company’s report published on Monday. Interactive Brokers saw 1.8 million DARTs in June, followed by Charles Schwab and E-Trade at 1.8 million and 1.1 million, respectively.

However, even as Robinhood released its DARTS data for the first time, it is taking down other customer data from its site.

It will restrict access to its programming protocols, which had been used by data sites such as RobinTrack.com to show hourly updates on retail stock demand.

A Robinhood spokesperson told CNBC it would no longer publish the number of clients holding a particular stock because that data was often “misconstrued” and “misunderstood,” and was not representative of how the customer base uses the trading app.

The stock app has enjoyed a strong start to the year, opening three million new customer accounts in 2020, largely spurred by new investors who flocked to trading apps during lockdown.

However, this prompted concern from veteran market watchers over whether these new investors properly understood the financial risks they were taking.

This was highlighted in May when thousands of retail investors pumped millions into car rental firm Hertz in the hope its stock would rebound, even though it had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and its solvency was in doubt.

Scraps UK launch

Robinhood also raised $600m in a Series F funding round led by Sequoia Capital in May, giving it a valuation of $8.6bn.

But the business, founded by engineers Baiju Bhatt (pictured) and Vladimir Tenev, has not had it all its own way.

Last month it publicly scrapped plans to launch in the UK to focus on its core US market, even though it had signed up 250,000 British users to open accounts.

Robinhood would have competed against such UK rivals such as Revolut, Freetrade, and Trading 212.

The US firm said: “We’re saddened to share that we’ve made the difficult decision to postpone our UK launch indefinitely. We’ve come to recognise that our efforts are currently best spent on strengthening our core business in the US”.

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Roger Baird

Roger Baird is News Editor at Finixio. He has worked as a financial journalist for 20 years reporting on companies, capital markets and the UK economy.