Disruptor 50 2020

46. Robinhood

Founders: Vlad Tenev (co-CEO), Baiju Bhatt (co-CEO)
Launched: 2013
Headquarters: Menlo Park, California
 $1.1 billion
Valuation: $8.3 billion
Key technologies:
Machine learning, software-defined security
Financial services, mobile
Previous appearances on Disruptor 50 List: 3 (No. 47 in 2019)

George Kavallines

Many young investors, some of whom had never invested in stocks before, looked at the coronavirus market rout in March as a major buying opportunity. Robinhood benefited from that foray. The Menlo Park, California-based fintech reported that it opened a whopping 3 million new accounts in the first quarter of this year, half from first-time investors. They were driven by cheaper prices and the ability to execute trades of nearly any size on almost any smart device. The momentum of trading on the site continues.

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Robinhood offers commission-free investing in stocks, ETFs and options through Robinhood Financial. If cryptocurrencies are your thing, the company offers commission-free trading through Robinhood Crypto. The company claims more than 10 million accounts, and billions of dollars in transaction volume. It makes money off of customer-order flow and a premium, paid subscription service. Robinhood officially expanded to the U.K in November, and in May it announced a $280 million funding round, giving it a valuation of $8.3 billion. The company has raised more than $1.1 billion from investors, including Kleiner Perkins, NEA, Sequoia and Thrive Capital.

Fintech app Robinhood is driving a retail trading renaissance during the stock market's wild ride

Employees at the company's four offices around the world have been working remotely since the coronavirus pandemic took hold in the U.S., but the company is still hiring. Robinhood claims it has more than 100 open roles that span all offices and nearly every team at the company.

A look back at the CNBC Disruptor 50: 8 years, 209 companies