May 10, 2018 / 2:11 PM / a year ago

Free trading app Robinhood raises $363 million, valuation soars to $5.6 billion

FILE PHOTO: Yuri Milner, founder of DST Global, speaks at the Wall Street Journal Digital Live (WSJDLive) conference at the Montage hotel in Laguna Beach, California, October 21, 2015. REUTERS/Mike Blake

(Reuters) - Online brokerage startup Robinhood raised $363 million (269 million pounds) in a new round of funding led by Russian billionaire Yuri Milner’s investment group DST Global, valuing the company at $5.6 billion.

The round also saw participation from Sequoia Capital which invested in Facebook Inc’s (FB.O) WhatsApp, Iconiq, Capital G and KPCB.

Existing investors in Robinhood include Thrive Capital, a venture firm founded by Josh Kushner, the brother of Jared Kushner, a senior adviser and son-in-law to U.S. President Donald Trump.

Robinhood allows retail investors to trade U.S. stocks and ETFs commission-free through its app. Earlier this year, it launched a commission-free cryptocurrency trading platform to allow buying and selling of bitcoin and ether, as demand from retail investors rose.

Robinhood said it plans to add more cryptocurrencies in the coming months.

The company competes with established brokerages such as TD Ameritrade and E* Trade Financial Corp (ETFC.O), which charge clients for commissions, and joins a list of financial companies taking advantage of digital technology to cater to young investors.

Reporting By Aparajita Saxena in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber

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