Robinhood to launch in UK with deal to buy crypto app Ziglu
A woman is holding a smartphone with the Robinhood logo in the background.
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Robinhood said on Tuesday it had agreed to buy Ziglu, a London-based fintech app that allows users to trade bitcoin and several other cryptocurrencies. The acquisition will help Robinhood expand in the UK and Europe, the company said.
The announcement comes nearly two years after Robinhood halted plans to launch in the UK. At the time, the company said it was prioritizing its domestic business over international expansion.
Robinhood shares rose more than 3% on Tuesday.
The deal could provide a crucial boost to Robinhood’s growth prospects. Its performance has weakened since GameStop’s shopping frenzy last year.
Robinhood reported a drop in the number of monthly active users in the fourth quarter of 2021 – to 17.3 million from 18.9 million in the previous quarter – and said it expects revenue below 340 million dollars for the first quarter of 2022, down 35% compared to the same period a year since. The company has lost about two-thirds of its market value since its Nasdaq debut last summer.
Vlad Tenev, CEO and co-founder of Robinhood, said the company’s purchase of Ziglu “will help us accelerate our global expansion efforts.”
“Along with the Ziglu team, we will work to leverage the best of both companies, exploring new ways to innovate and break down barriers for customers across the UK and Europe,” Tenev said in a blog post.
Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. The deal is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions, Robinhood said.
Founded in 2018, Ziglu allows users to make payments, invest in a range of cryptocurrencies, and earn interest on bitcoin and sterling holdings.
The company has raised a total of £17.5m ($22.8m) to date, including £13.4m from retail investors through crowdfunding platform Seedrs. He was last valued at £85million.
It is one of the few crypto firms to have successfully registered with the UK Financial Conduct Authority. Registration is a key requirement for digital asset companies looking to operate in the country.
The regulator recently extended the time for companies to make the cut after many companies withdrew their applications.
Mark Hipperson, CEO of Ziglu, was previously co-founder of British digital bank Starling. Ziglu and Robinhood “share a common set of goals,” he said.
“As part of Robinhood, we will accelerate Robinhood’s expansion across Europe and bring greater access to crypto and its benefits to millions more customers,” Hipperson said.