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Robinhood is an American app-based stock brokerage that offers commission-free trading. It was founded in Palo Alto, California, in 2014 by two former Stanford roommates, Baiju Bhatt and Vlad Tenev. The various fees attached to trading stocks often deter young people from entering the market, but by eliminating fees and streamlining the process, Robinhood hopes to open up trading to a new demographic. The tool is the fastest-growing brokerage in history and was the first finance app to win an Apple Design Award.

In 2016, Robinhood launched a subscription model, Robinhood Gold. For $10 per month, users get instant deposits (no three-day waiting period), and can trade just before the market is open and just after it has closed. That privilege is designed to lure more experienced traders from other brokerages. The company also expanded into China, through a partnership with Baidu, allowing Chinese citizens to buy and sell U.S. stock via an app integration.

50 Most Innovative Companies 2017


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