Robinhood Files Confidentially With SEC To Go Public: Report

Trading platform caught up in the GameStop squeeze continues to draw IPO buzz.
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The parent of Robinhood, the trading application at the center of the recent retail trading frenzy, filed confidentially with the Securities and Exchange Commission to go public, a media report says.

Bloomberg News reported that Robinhood Markets Inc. could go public as soon as sometime in the second quarter. The news service cited a person familiar with the matter.

The timing could change, the news service reported. Bloomberg in February had reported that the company might go public in March.

The commission-free application launched in March 2015. It became extremely popular recently as it enabled novice investors who were stuck at home due to the pandemic to trade stocks and other financial instruments at no cost.

In January followers of a sub-reddit known as r/WallStreetBets launched a concerted effort to boost the shares of GameStop  (GME) - Get Report and force a short squeeze. The resulting volatility did indeed send the shares soaring, but also wound up catching many novice investors on the wrong side of trades as shares plunged. 

It also drew many more new users to the Robinhood app. 

At the time Robinhood faced capital shortfalls and limited trading in popular stocks including GameStop. Robinhood investors put more than $3 billion into the firm to help it meet its collateral requirements. 

Berkshire-Hathaway's Charlie Munger subsequently referred to Robinhood as providing "gambling services."

TheStreet.com's Jim Cramer said at the time that Robinhood needs to earn back customer's trust

In the aftermath, Congress held hearings on Robinhood, but took no immediate action. 

GameStop reported quarterly results after the bell, Tuesday. The company missed earnings forecasts and said it's contemplating new share sales. The stock fell more than 10% in after-hours trading.