Robinhood snaps up UK fintech Ziglu to make global debutVish Gainon April 20, 2022 at 08:01 Silicon RepublicSilicon Republic

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US stock and crypto trading company Robinhood announced plans to acquire UK fintech yesterday (19 April) in a move that will help the controversial exchange expand in the European market.

For a long time, Robinhood has concentrated on its business in the US, culminating in an underwhelming IPO last summer that came just months after it was under fire for its role in the GameStop trading saga.

According to CNBC, the company had plans to expand into the UK market nearly two years ago, which it eventually dropped to prioritise its home market. Now, it is finally making the move across the Atlantic.

Ziglu is a London-based fintech platform that allows users to invest in a range of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and make payments using them. They can also earn interest on holdings of bitcoin and regular cash. Founded in 2018, the start-up has raised £17.5m so far and was last valued at £85m.

It is one of the few UK crypto companies that is registered with the Financial Conduct Authority, the country’s watchdog, fulfilling a key requirement to operate in the market. It also has the rights to operate in the EU market, paving a smooth path for Robinhood to take its crypto business.

“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,” said Ziglu founder and CEO, Mark Hipperson.

Robinhood confirmed that existing Ziglu customers will face no changes in the short term while the start-up is integrated into the exchange in the background. Once completed, the acquisition will help launch Robinhood full-throttle in the UK market – with plans to then make its way into the rest of Europe.

Vlad Tenev, co-founder and CEO of Robinhood, praised Ziglu’s “impressive team of deeply experienced financial services and crypto experts” who will “will help us accelerate our global expansion efforts”.

“Together with the Ziglu team, we’ll work to leverage the best of both companies, exploring new ways to innovate and break down barriers for customers across the UK and Europe,” he said.

“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,” added Hipperson.

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