The Robinhood logo portrays a feather pointing upward, like that seen on the hat of the famed robber, alongside the word “Robinhood.” For the most part, the logo design contrasts with the conservative corporate designs of other brokerage firms.
The geometrically basic emblem symbolizes Robinhood, the folklore character that lent the company his name. Robinhood was obviously a serious fashionista, evidenced by his hat being decorated with a feather.
Considering Robinhood’s legendary reputation as a hero of the poor, the symbol inspires a sense of inspiration and trust among Robinhood customers. In turn, the arrow symbol represents financial growth.
The Robinhood Logo Evolution
The unique parts of the Robinhood logo are the green feather, which alludes to the famous medieval hat that Robinhood wore.
The original Robinhood logo had a rather calm shade of green, more like light teal. The brand name “Robinhood” was written in a minimalistic sans lowercase font. Even the original “R” in the brand name was lowercase—apparently, in order to not steal the thunder from the feather.
Thanks to the generic font, the logo didn’t look recognizable at all. But that didn’t matter, as the feather was what made the logo design distinctive. It was placed to the left of “Robinhood” and was much taller than most of the glyphs, for example, the “r” or “o.”
In 2020, Robinhood’s in-house design teamed up with Collins, an independent design, strategy, and communications firm, to develop a new logo.
According to Collins, the aim of redesigning the logo was to express the idea that money is “understandable and engaging.” Of course, this involved a total transformation of the brand image, not just a symbol redesign.
As for the Robinhood logo, not much was actually changed. One of the possible reasons for that was because the feather already carried some visual weight—it was widely recognized as the company’s symbol. In addition, it was symbolic as it created a connection with Robinhood, after whom the firm is named.
The tribute to the famous heroic criminal helps customers understand Robinhood’s mission and core values. According to the Robinhood website, the company wants to give everyone access to the money markets, whether rich or poor.
While the feather stayed put in the new logo, it was placed to the right. In addition, it got smaller. According to Collins, this was intended to make it resemble a lightweight feather as opposed to the absurdly huge writing quill of the previous version. Anyway, this redesign gave the wordmark more weight than the symbol.
In the Robinhood wordmark, the first letter was now capitalized while the font stayed almost unchanged. It just became a bit bolder, providing improved legibility. The green shade also became more vivid than in the previous design. More importantly, it closely resembles the color of the medieval hat that Robinhood famously wore.
The Robinhood Logo Design Elements
Font: The designers didn’t pay too much attention to the “Robinhood” wordmark. They used a basic font that looks like the Street Plain Regular font.
The font is set apart by the lack of round corners at the end of the letters. This is probably another ploy by the designers to simplify the wordmark to grab the users’ attention.
Color: The Robinhood logo is most often drawn in green because it matches the color of the clothes and hat that Robinhood wore. Incidentally, green symbolizes growth in the stock market.
According to the logo designer Alexandra Bond, this color creates positive feelings. The designer chose a bright green shade, which could attract younger people. Another clever psychological tactic is a visual message resembling a green traffic light.
There’s a monochrome black-and-white version of the Robinhood logo as well.
The History of Robinhood
Robinhood Markets, Inc, commonly known as Robinhood, is a US financial services firm based in Menlo Park, CA, popular for innovating commission-free trading of stocks, cryptocurrencies, and exchange-traded funds through a mobile app it launched in March 2015.
The company is a broker-dealer regulated by FINRA and registered with the Securities & Exchange Commission. Moreover, Robinhood is part of the SIPC (Securities Investor Protection Corporation).
By 2021, Robinhood had 31 million users, with 1.6 million waiting to use its cryptocurrency wallet.
In April 2013, Baiju Bhatt partnered with Vladimir Tenev to found Robinhood. Bhatt had previously created high-frequency trading systems for New York-based financial institutions. The name Robinhood is inspired by its mission to help everyone access the financial markets regardless of their socioeconomic status.
Tenev noted that carrying out a trade cost brokerage companies “fractions of a cent.” Still, they usually charged a $5 to $10 fee per trade, in addition to required account minimum balances of between $500 and $5,000.
In December 2014, Robinhood first put its mobile app on AppStore and then officially introduced it three months later in March 2015.
By January 2015, 80 percent of Robinhood customers were “millenials,” with an average age of 26. Half of the users who’ve traded use the Robinhood app every day, and 90 percent trade on the app every week. Robinhood had 31 million users as of 2021.
At a $1.3 billion appraisal conducted by Yuri Milner on behalf of Thrive Capital, Greenoaks Capital, and DST Global, Robinhood fundraised $110 million in April 2017.
In May 2018, Robinhood secured a $363 million fourth financing round overseen by DST Global. By May 2018, Robinhood had raised $539 worth of venture capital funding, while the last valuation stood at $5.6 billion—an astronomical rise from the previous $1.3 billion valuation.
In February 2018, Robinhood announced shifting its head office from Palo Alto to Menlo Park, California.
In May 2019, according to reports from Bloomberg and other publications, Robinhood was pursuing an extra $200 million worth of funding, which could see the company valued at $7 billion to $10 billion. In November the same year, Robinhood announced it was branching out to the UK.
During the stock market crash of 2020, Robinhood trading went up. The subsequent market increase was attributed to Robinhood traders, but a study revealed that Robinhood customers had a minimal daily effect on major shares.
At an $8.3 billion pre-money valuation overseen by Sequoia Capital in May 2020, it was disclosed that Robinhood had secured $280 million worth of venture funding. And in August 2020, Robinhood announced a Series G funding round worth $200 from D1 Capital Partners, a new investor.
In June 2021, the FINRA fined Robinhood $57 million and ordered the company to pay clients $13 million in compensation for outages caused by erroneous messages in March 2020. The company had never been fined such a huge amount in its history.
In late July 2021, Robinhood traded publicly on the Nasdaq Stock Market. The initial price was $38, which dipped shortly afterward to $33.35 before beginning to bounce back, hitting a record high of $85.
Afterward, it dropped dramatically again after facing increasing regulatory uncertainty, nose-diving on third-quarter earnings, and revealing that a security lapse affected 7 million traders. In December 2021, the share price hit record lows under $25 and had plunged 70 percent over the past four months.
This uncertainty was a blessing for short-sellers of Robinhood’s shares.
Robinhood’s Products and Services
ETF Trading and Stock
At first, Robinhood offered commission-free trades of exchange-traded funds and stocks. In February 2016, the company launched instant deposits, instantly crediting users for deposits of as much as $1,000—previously, funds took 7 hours to show up through ACH transfer.
The company launched Robinhood Gold in September 2016. Robinhood Gold is a top-tier subscription plan that provides instant deposits of as much as $50,000, margin trading, and additional market analytics. By February 2017, Robinhood had completed over $30 billion worth of trades.
The company started offering free stocks for users that referred new users in August 2017. In December of the same year, the company introduced options trading. Robinhood doesn’t provide certain services, including retirement accounts, bonds, and mutual funds.
Robinhood usually only supports ETFs and stocks listed on the New York and Nasdaq Stock Exchange and usually doesn’t support over-the-counter securities like those exchanged on OTC markets.
Robinhood started support for American depositary receipts in August 2018, adding 250 highly sought-after international stocks. The company had banned its customers from investing in some very risky penny stocks, including prohibiting them from buying Helios & Matheson Analytics in August 2018.
A number of major brokerages, including Charles Schwab, TD Ameritrade, and E-Trade, announced that they were getting rid of trading fees in October 2019. They cited competition with Robinhood as a reason. But Charles Schwab said his own brokerage firm had planned to eventually remove trading fees since it had always been a low-cost broker.
Robinhood introduced support for automatic dividend reinvestment and purchase of fractional shares in December 2019. In May 2020, the company introduced automatic recurring investments. And in May 2021, the company made IPO shares accessible to customers.
In January 2018, Robinhood disclosed it had a list of people waiting to engage in no-commission cryptocurrency trading. This waitlist had increased to over 1,250,000 by the end of day one.
In February 2018, Robinhood started providing trading of Ethereum and Bitcoin to users in Massachusetts, California, Montana, and Missouri. Three months later, the company branched out to New Mexico and Wisconsin. By 2021, every state in America had cryptocurrency trading except Nevada and Hawaii.
Robinhood later launched support for Ethereum Classic, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and Dogecoin. In September, the company introduced automatic recurring investments. Robinhood doesn’t support deposits and withdrawals of cryptocurrency and cryptocurrency wallets, but it plans to launch these features. So it created a waitlist for these features in September 2021.
Robinhood CEO Vladimir Tenev said that the company might introduce more coins as well, as they had been received well by users.
Robinhood was reportedly in talks to get an American banking license in June 2018. In December the same year, the company announced savings and checking accounts, with debit cards available at the beginning of 2019.
Robinhood said that the accounts would attract a 3 percent annual interest rate. The highest rate on any savings account was 2.36 percent at the time. Robinhood at first claimed the SIPC would ensure the accounts, but the SIPC denied the claim. The following day, the accounts were renamed “Cash Management.” In January 2019, both the sign-up page and waitlist disappeared from the app.
In October 2019, Robinhood announced a brand new Cash Management function, with a 2.05 percent annual interest rate and FDIC insurance from different partner banks. But after a federal lowering of interest rates, the annual interest rate was reduced to 1.8 percent before launch.
The Cash Management function was introduced in December 2019.
FAQs on Robinhood
Can I Safely Buy on Robinhood?
In short, it’s safe to use Robinhood. However, don’t let the appeal of free trading get you boxed in. Treat the platform like any other brokerage firm and be cautious with your spending.
What’s the Issue with Robinhood?
Unlike the majority of stockbrokers online, Robinhood only offers trading of cryptocurrencies, stocks, and EFTs. Mutual funds aren’t traded on the platform. And although Robinhood offers commission-less trading, it has several ways of earning cash from your business.
Is Robinhood Right for Beginners?
Robinhood is a great option for beginners because they can buy ETFs, stocks, and cryptocurrencies with no commissions.
How Does Robinhood Earn Money?
Robinhood generates revenue through three major sources: margin lending, interest earned on users’ cash balances, and selling order details to high-frequency customers.
Wrapping Up the History of Robinhood
Robinhood Markets, Inc, aka Robinhood, is a US financial company known for starting commission-free trading of stocks and exchange-traded funds. Baiju Bhatt and Vladimir Tenev established the company in April 2013.
In December 2014, Robinhood was first made available on AppStore before being officially introduced in March 2015.
In January 2018, Robinhood revealed a waiting list of no-commission cryptocurrency trading. This waitlist shot up to over 1,250,000 by the end of day one. Later, Robinhood added Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum Classic, and Dogecoin support.
In June 2021, FINRA slapped Robinhood with a $57 million fine and ordered the firm to pay $13 million in compensation for clients affected by outages caused by coding errors in March 2021.
In July 2021, Robinhood initiated an IPO on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange under the “HOOD” ticker. And as of 2021, there were 31 million Robinhood users.