Second time lucky? Popular US investing app Robinhood snaps up UK crypto firm Ziglu as it pushes ahead with expansion plans again
- Online platform Robinhood has bought UK crypto startup Ziglu
- Ziglu was the third UK crypto firm to be regulated by the FCA
- It is the second time Robinhood has tried to expand into Britain
Robinhood has agreed to buy UK crypto start-up Ziglu as the US investment platform once again tries to expand into Britain.
The brokerage said Ziglu’s ‘impressive team of deeply experienced financial services and crypto experts will help us accelerate our global expansion efforts.’
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Led by Mark Hipperson, former tech chief at Starling Bank, Ziglu has quietly built itself up and raised over $7million on crowdfunding site Seedrs last November. It said its customer base grew four-fold last year as enthusiasm for crypto attracted more investment.
Ziglu enables customers to buy and sell 11 cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin and Ether
The deal, which is subject to regulatory approval, will give Robinhood a platform in the UK that allows customers to buy and sell 11 cryptocurrencies and move and send money abroad.
Ziglu also offers a ‘Boost’ product where customers can earn up to five per cent interest which is paid weekly.
When a Ziglu user moves funds into the Sterling Boost, an investment account, GBP is exchanged into a sterling stablecoin called TrueGBP.
It partners with lending platforms who lend the coin to institutional investors like hedge funds.
Ziglu is one of the few crypto firms that have won approval from the FCA. The regulator’s registration regime has been beset by delays and has approved 33 of the more than 100 crypto companies that have applied.
Robinhood today said its long-term goal is to move to ‘integrate Ziglu more fully into Robinhood, bring the Robinhood brand overseas, and work to expand operations beyond the UK into Europe.’
Hipperson added: ‘As part of Robinhood, we’ll supercharge Robinhood’s expansion across Europe and bring better access to crypto and its benefits to millions more customers.’
Robinhood has been one of the key drivers of the DIY investment boom during the pandemic with claims to be ‘democratising finance’ for millions of novice investors.
It had plans to expand into the UK having grown a waiting list of more than 250,000 people but was forced to abandon its plans in July 2020.
It said at the time: ‘The world has changed a lot over the past several months and we’re adapting with it.
‘On a company level, we’ve come to recognise that our efforts are currently spent on strengthening our core business in the US and making further investments in our foundational systems.’