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Robinhood Stock: Brokerage Sets IPO Price at Bottom of Range

Fintech at center of meme trading going public amid a slew of controversies.
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Robinhood Markets  (HOOD) - Get Free Report priced its IPO at $38 a share Wednesday, according to a published report.

The pricing came at the bottom of the range sought by the company in its S-1 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission at the beginning of the month. Robinhood had been seeking to raise around $2 billion from the sale of 54.6 million shares between $38 and $42 each.

The pricing gave the company a valuation of $32 billion, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing unnamed sources. 

In keeping with its stated mission to democratize finance, Robinhood reserved up to 35% of its shares for retail investors for purchase on its platform.

The IPO comes as the company at the center of recent meme-trading controversies seeks to weather a number of challenges.

Last month, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority ordered Robinhood to pay fines and restitution totaling $70 million for trading outages and misleading communications with customers. Those penalties arose from outages in March 2020, at the time U.S. markets were in turmoil over the first wave of COVID-19 cases.

This January and February Robinhood became closely identified with so-called meme stock trading in which relatively inexperienced traders used the platform to execute attempts to force short-squeezes in shares of companies such as Gamestop  (GME) - Get Free Report and AMC Entertainment  (AMC) - Get Free Report. Those incidents prompted congressional hearings. 

This week, Robinhood disclosed it has received an investigative request into the "FINRA non-registration status of [CEO Vladimir Tenev] and [co-founder Baiju Prafulkumar Bhatt]." The company said it is evaluating this matter and intends to cooperate with the investigation.

Earlier this year, at Berkshire Hathaway’s  (BRK.A) - Get Free Report annual meeting in May, Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett slammed the company, saying “Robinhood has become a very significant part of the casino aspect, the casino group, that has joined into the stock market in the last year or year and a half."