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Robinhood to buy UK crypto platform Ziglu

Robinhood has attempted to launch into the UK before, pulling the plug just a few weeks from launch. Now it's making its first acquisition of a UK fintech.

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Mark Hipperson/Ziglu

US digital wealth giant Robinhood is making a bid to acquire Ziglu, the UK crypto platform.

In a message to users, seen by AltFi, founder and CEO of Ziglu Mark Hipperson says the company has signed an agreement “to join” Robinhood.

Ziglu and Robinhood share a common DNA, working to reduce the barriers to entry for a new generation of investors, and we’re looking forward to pursuing that mission together,” he said.

The deal, subject to regulatory approval, will see no immediate change to users’ experience. But longer term there are two important questions. Firstly, is Robinhood - best known for its free stock trading - moving into the crypto payments space. Secondly, whether its aborted launch in the UK in 2020 is back on.

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

“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.”

In the near term, nothing will change for current Ziglu customers. Longer term, we’ll integrate Ziglu more fully into Robinhood, bring the Robinhood brand overseas, and work to expand operations beyond the UK into Europe.

Ziglu was set by one of the first Starling Bank team Mark Hipperson, who was the neobank’s first chief technology officer, in 2017.

The company, which raised a £7m crowdfunding round last year, says it saw a 400 per cent rise in customer numbers over the course of 2021.

No details on the nature of the deal are forthcoming, including if investors will see a return from last year’s valuation. 

Shares were £34 in the 2020 campaign and stood at £48.30 in 2021 but traded higher at various times on Seedrs secondary market.

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Mark Hipperson

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