Robinhood, whose stock trading app has revolutionized Wall Street access to ordinary Americans on small budgets, on Thursday, launched a phased launch of a new product called IPO Access.
IPO Access gives users the opportunity to buy shares until their initial public offering (IPO) on the stock exchange at the IPO price (the price set before the start of trading on the stock exchange).
Previously, this opportunity was available only to institutional investors – large banks and firms, and retail investors bought shares from the first day of trading.
However, on the first day of trading, as a rule, the price rises significantly, as retail investors get the first opportunity to buy these new shares.
According to research firm Dealogic, in 2020 the share price on the first day of the IPO of new public companies increased by an average of 36%.
At the same time, Robinhood will not be an underwriter for IPO companies, but will work with Wall Street investment banks to raise funds for private investors.
Robinhood stated that users on its platform will be able to participate in future IPOs without a minimum account, and although the number of IPO shares available for purchase may be very limited, “all Robinhood customers get an equal chance of buying regardless of order size or account amount.”
FIGS Inc (FIGS) has become the first company to offer its shares through Robinhood IPO Access. Their number will be limited: 1% of FIGS IPO, consisting of 22.5 million shares.
On the IPO Access platform, users will be able to read previous reports from companies preparing for the IPO to learn about the business model, management team and risk factors.
It is unclear whether Robinhood customers will be able to invest in Robinhood’s future IPO, and the company filed a confidential S-1 application with the SEC on March 23. The stock trading supplement is expected to go public in the first half of 2021, most likely in late June.
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