Robinhood hires Google veteran to lead product ahead of IPO

Robinhood hires Aparna Chennapragada as first chief product officer

Robinhood has employed a prime Google govt as its first chief product officer ahead of its upcoming public debut.

The buying and selling start-up said Wednesday it can deliver on Aparna Chennapragada, who spent 12 years at Google main product, engineering and design groups. She was most not too long ago vp for shopper buying, and led product efforts for Google Search and YouTube.

Chennapragada, who can be on the board of Capital One, mentioned she spent her profession at Google “building products that help billions of people in their everyday lives” and at Robinhood, plans to “help more people build their financial future and personal wealth.”

“Robinhood has built a uniquely accessible product that has opened up the financial markets to millions of people,” Chennapragada mentioned in a press release Wednesday.

Robinhood has come beneath criticism for making markets too accessible in some circumstances, and “gamifying” inventory markets. CEO Vlad Tenev testified in entrance of Congress in February and addressed the buying and selling frenzy round GameStop, in addition to Robinhood’s resolution to shut down the purchase facet of sure trades.

Despite the GameStop controversy, Robinhood’s consumer progress, model recognition and valuation seem to have gotten a boost. Demand for Robinhood shares in non-public markets surged in February, and Robinhood gained 3 million customers in January alone, in accordance to estimates from JMP Securities.

The firm has beefed up hiring in latest months to sustain with demand and customer support complaints. On Monday, Robinhood announced it could purchase recruiting agency Binc to double the scale of its recruiting crew.

Robinhood has been identified to faucet executives from each Wall Street and Silicon Valley in its eight-year historical past. It employed former SEC commissioner Dan Gallagher as the top of authorized final yr, and its first chief advertising officer, Christina Smedley, got here from Facebook. Robinhood’s CFO Jason Warnick joined after twenty years at Amazon and its chief working officer, Gretchen Howard, can be a former Google govt.

The start-up is greatest identified for reducing the barrier to entry for a flood of new retail traders and kicking off a wave of brokerage companies slashing commissions to zero. The start-up has attracted investments from Sequoia, Kleiner Perkins and Google’s enterprise capital arm, GV. It was final valued at $11.7 billion, however is predicted to fetch a valuation up to four-times that quantity in its eventual IPO, in accordance to its early traders.

The U.S. brokerage agency is predicted to go public within the coming months, and chose the Nasdaq because the trade for its eventual debut, sources conversant in the matter advised CNBC. The firm has not formally filed for the itemizing.

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