Robinhood’s epic Q1 growth explains its fundraising boom

An initial analysis of Robinhood’s Q1 2021 payment for order flow (PFOF) revenues sourced from company filings shows that the free-trading unicorn had a strong start to the year. Given the raucous trading activity of the first quarter, that news is not a surprise.

The aggregate revenue data helps explain how Robinhood was able to raise as much capital as it did in the first quarter despite running into issues with its technology and the United States government; the company found itself at the center of the GameStop speculative rush, which likely led to strong trading volumes, along with what The Exchange presumes was an unwelcome level of attention from regulators.

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This morning, we’re sticking close to the company’s financial results using the lens of PFOF income, which the company said during a congressional hearing constitutes the majority of its revenues.

This particular revenue growth — or the lack thereof — is a good way to understand not only Robinhood’s own results but also its larger market. If Robinhood is seeing rapid growth and strong trading volumes, we can infer with some confidence that others in its space are enjoying a related, if not similar, level of interest.

For, eToro and others like Freetrade (as well as our own understanding), how Robinhood performed recently is key. So, let’s explore the data.

An epic Q1

Per an initial TechCrunch analysis of Robinhood’s collected PFOF disclosure data for the first quarter, including its revenues from fees related to the trading of stocks that are part of the S&P 500, stocks that are not, and options incomes, here’s how the company performed: