The founders of Robinhood had a tough time with VCs early on, as the product had not yet launched or gained regulatory approval. However with a viral product and freemium business model, the company fetched a $1.3b valuation just a few years later. Robinhood has saved consumers over $500m in commissions.
It’s hard getting funding for a startup, but it’s even harder when the product doesn’t exist yet, still requires regulatory approval, and is being launched during a recession. But after 75 investor pitches, the founders of a commission-free stock-trading app, Robinhood, found a few willing venture capitalists. Now the easy-to-use app has over 2 million users and is valued at about $1.3 billion. “There were a lot of people who didn’t believe in it, and we had to bang down a ton of doors. We were really relentless,” Vlad Tenev, the cofounder and co-CEO of Robinhood, told Business Insider US Editor-in-Chief Alyson Shontell on the “Success! How I Did It” podcast. “We probably knocked on 75 doors before we actually made it work.”