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Robinhood valuation surges to $11.2 billion after latest funding round

(Reuters) – Robinhood Markets Inc, the fintech startup credited with helping popularize trading among millennials, said on Monday it has raised $200 million from investment firm D1 Capital Partners at a valuation of $11.2 billion.

Robinhood is one of the hottest fintech startups in Silicon Valley, having consistently raised large sums at higher valuations from several marquee investors including Sequoia Capital, Ribbit Capital and Index Ventures. According to PitchBook and Reuters calculations, it has raised about $1.71 billion so far.

This year alone, the Menlo Park, California-based startup has raised $800 million in funds.

The latest funding round is widely seen as a precursor to an initial public offering (IPO) by the company, which has benefited from a surge in day trading, driven by customers stuck at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some traders and analysts have attributed rallies of between 300% and 500% in stocks of bankrupt companies such as Hertz, Chesapeake, Whiting and JC Penney to retail investors using Robinhood.

The company, however, has been criticized for not doing enough to moderate excesses after one of its customers took his life believing he had lost more than $730,000 using the free trading app.

Robinhood said in June it may make it harder for people to qualify for sophisticated options trading on its platform and that it would improve its user interface.

Robinhood was founded in 2013 and now has more than 10 million user accounts. Customers at the brokerage, which has been credited with helping usher in commission-free trading throughout the retail brokerage industry, have a median age of 31.

(Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)

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