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Robinhood loads up and takes aim at disruptors and banks alike

4 months ago by Jon Marino in

Stock investing startup Robinhood ($ROBINHOOD) just reeled in big bucks from a cadre of big-name backers as the company gets ready to fend off big banks and other digital disruptors. 

Even before raising more than $300 million - from backers including DST Global, Sequoia and NEA - the company was on a roll staffing up, our first chart shows. For Robinhood, job postings more than doubled from the beginning of 2019, until today, where it has a valuation hovering around $7.6 billion. Postings for roles in 'Product' and 'Engineering' are up the most in 2019, at Robinhood (graphs not shown). 

But Betterment ($BETTERMENT), its primary New York-based digital competitor, has been doing some of the same - seen next. Staffing, as tracked by total employees measured by LinkedIn ($NASDAQ:MSFT) Employee Count, rose about 10% over a recent six-month period. 

Robinhood - while Betterment's growth figures have been impressive - has gone "Vlad Guerrero at the 2019 Home Run Derby mode," boosting staff levels by more than 50% so far this year - our next chart. According to our tracking of how many people on LinkedIn identify Robinhood as their current employer, staff levels rose from 449 to 674 over a comparable period to Betterment. Right now, Robinhood is winning the startup scale war in a big way. 

But big banks are also betting they can get in on the digital money management game - Goldman Sachs ($NYSE:GS), which has been pushing its Marcus offering to a growing base of consumers, has also partnered with Apple ($NASDAQ:AAPL) for a recently-launched credit card that is still in test phases. Goldman increased job postings over the most recent completed quarter for its Consumer and Investment Management business by 60%, as it continues to grow new lines of businesses and seek out a broader client base via the web. 

About the Data: 

Thinknum tracks companies using information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

Further Reading: 

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Jon Marino

Jon Marino is Thinknum's finance editor, covering the impacts of alternative data on public companies and investors. Prior to joining Thinknum, Jon worked in the ...

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