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Robinhood acquires crypto app Ziglu: Is the UK launch near?

Robinhood Products
Image credits: Robinhood

Nearly two years after abandoning its plans to launch in Britain, Robinhood has announced it has agreed to buy Ziglu, a London-based fintech app that allows users to trade 11 different cryptocurrencies and make overseas payments. This is a strategic acquisition for Robinhood and will lay the groundwork for its UK and European expansion.

Initially, Robinhood halted its plans, stating that it was prioritising its home business as opposed to expanding internationally. Robinhood shares gained 5% following this announcement, a brief upside amidst ongoing struggles which have seen the company lose nearly two-thirds of its market value since it went public on the Nasdaq last summer. The co-Founders Vlad Tenev and Baiju Bhatt both lost their billionaire status in January 2022 as a result of the tumbled market value.

Further announcement details

While the motive to buy is set in stone, the terms of the deal were not disclosed, with the acquisition remaining subject to regulatory approvals. This announcement is part of Robinhood’s goal to open up its cryptocurrency trading platform to customers internationally, and comes just two weeks after the company extended crypto wallet services to more than 2M U.S. customers.

Robinhood said in its press release that its eventual goal is to integrate Ziglu customers onto its platform, with nothing changing in the near term. The company hopes that this will serve as a key step in the plans to accelerate international expansion into the UK and Europe. This latest move by Robinhood remains unsure as to whether it can help reverse its downturn in which shares are down 40% this year. The company is facing a significant slowdown in trading activity from retail investors in both stocks and crypto.

“Ziglu’s impressive team of deeply experienced financial services and crypto experts will help us accelerate our global expansion efforts,” remarked Vlad Tenev, CEO and Co-Founder of Robinhood Markets. “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.”

About Ziglu, Robinhood’s acquisition target

Founded in 2018 by Mark Hipperson, Niall McConnell and Philip Goffin, Ziglu exists with the intention of empowering everyone to participate in the world of cryptocurrencies, easily, safely and affordably. Ziglu achieves this by offering transparency, low pricing and intuitive access to a range of cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ether and Litecoin, just to name a few. The company also offers a Mastercard debit card, availing Ziglu’s customers the freedom to spend. Users can also send money, where, when and how they want, making use of the platform’s exchange.

The company has raised a total of £17.5M ($22.8M) to date. This amount is inclusive of £13.4M from retail investors through the equity crowdfunding platform Seedrs. At its last raise, Ziglu was valued at £85M. Ziglu is one of the few crypto firms that has managed to register with the U.K.’s FCA (Financial Conduct Authority).

Mark Hipperson, Ziglu’s CEO, who was previously a co-Founder of British digital bank Starling commented, “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.”

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