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Stock trading app Freetrade ‘talking to advisors' about raise or potential sale

The unconfirmed report could see the low-cost trading app merge with another fintech or seek a further VC round.

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Adam Dodds/Freetrade.

Neobroker and trading app Freetrade is reportedly talking to advisors about a potential funding round or sale.

The app, which was founded in 2016 by CEO Adam Dodds, picked up significant steam during the pandemic when many tried their hands at stock trading for the first time. 

Freetrade competes with other low-cost trading apps such as eToro and Trading212, using a “freemium” model where users get to trade a small number of stocks for free, such as UK firms or basic ETFs, but need to pay a monthly subscription for more exotic ETFs or individual US stocks. 

According to sources reported by The Telegraph, the fintech is speaking to Bank of America about its options, which could include either a sale or a merger with another fintech or it raising more investment from venture capital funds.

AltFi understands these talks are in the earliest stages, with no certainty on the outcome.

Freetrade's November 2021 funding round saw its valuation almost double from just £270m in March 2021 to £650m, which was a record valuation at the time in the crowdfunding world.

In October 2021, the firm announced it had over 1 million users, and in April 2022 it announced that it had hit £1bn in assets under administration, and it has been progressively adding new European regions for investors such as Finland and The Netherlands. 

Though it has, like many others in the fintech world, been shedding its numbers in recent months, it's also made some very significant hires at its most senior levels. 

The firm appointed Shahid Naveed as its latest chief technology officer (CTO) last week, an Amazon vet with 3+ years of experience coming off a stint at online marketplace operator Auction Technology Group. 

However, joining other high-profile fintech such as Stipe and Curve, the firm axed around 15 per cent of its roughly 300 staff in June 2022, with a company spokesperson saying the action was “taken to reduce costs and extend Freetrade’s cash runway”.

Despite impressive growth in recent years, the company has been perhaps less successful in terms of achieving profitability. 

The firm reported an impressive 647 per cent revenue growth in the year ending 30 September 2021, rising to £12.7m from just £1.7m in the previous year, however, Freetrade’s losses also almost doubled to £18.2m from £9.5m in the previous year. 

Freetrade declined to provide a comment when contacted by AltFi regarding the reports. 

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Adam Dodds

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