Robinhood Looks Toward Global Expansion As It Acquires UK Crypto App Ziglu

Robinhood and Cryptocurrencies photo illustrations, Krakow, Poland - 29 Jun 2021
Jakub Porzycki / NurPhoto /

Robinhood announced it acquired U.K.-based electronic money institution and crypto-asset firm Ziglu, in an effort to expand its global footprint.

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“Our mission to democratize finance for all can only be achieved if we reach people around the world. That’s why earlier this year, we announced that we’ve set aggressive goals to start opening our crypto platform up to customers internationally,” Robinhood said in a blog post.

Terms of the deal, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions, were not disclosed in the blog post. Robinhood’s stock was up 5% on April 19, following the news.   

GOBankingRates reached out to Robinhood, which declined to comment due to the earnings quiet period. Robinhood is set to report its earnings on April 28.

The announcement comes nearly two years after Robinhood halted plans to launch in the U.K. At the time, the company said it was prioritizing its business at home over international expansion, CNBC reported.

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The company said that with Ziglu, U.K.-based customers can buy and sell 11 cryptocurrencies, earn yield via its ‘Boost’ products, pay using a debit card, and move and spend money, even abroad, without fees.

“Ziglu and Robinhood share a common set of goals, working to reduce the barriers to entry for a new generation of investors, and we’re excited to pursue that mission together,” Mark Hipperson, founder and CEO of Ziglu, said in the post.  “As part of Robinhood, we’ll supercharge Robinhood’s expansion across Europe and bring better access to crypto and its benefits to millions more customers.”

Robinhood explained in the post that in the near term, nothing will change for current Ziglu customers. Longer-term, the company said it will “integrate Ziglu more fully into Robinhood, bring the Robinhood brand overseas, and work to expand operations beyond the UK and Europe.”

The acquisition might also help the company diversify. Robinhood’s stock crashed following the company’s fourth-quarter earnings on Jan. 27, which set expectations for a grim first quarter of 2022, as it anticipated that total net revenues will be less than $340 million — a  35% decline compared to the first quarter of 2021, according to the financial report.

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In addition, Robinhood’s monthly active users fell to 17.3 million last quarter from 18.9 million in the third quarter, according to the filing, while average revenues per user (ARPU) for the quarter also decreased 39% to $64 on an annualized basis, compared with $106 in the fourth quarter of 2020, as GOBankingRates previously reported.

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“The decrease was primarily related to lower trading volumes per user for options and equities and lower interest earnings per user from securities lending due to declines in market rates earned on loaned securities, partially offset by higher trading volumes per user for cryptocurrencies,” the filing read.

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About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.
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