Debuts in UK Ahead of Investing Rival Robinhood

Investing platform is reportedly set to launch in Great Britain.

Co-CEO and Co-founder Leif Abraham told Bloomberg News in an interview posted Thursday (July 13) that the firm will let retail investors in the U.K. trade more than 5,000 stocks while accessing services like research and data.

Eventually, he added, Public aims to expand the products it offers in the U.K. while moving into other parts of Europe.

“The goal is to have the same product experience in all markets,” Abraham told Bloomberg. “We are big believers in being a multi-asset investment platform.”

As Bloomberg notes, the British market has been difficult for stock-trading apps. Public competitor Robinhood had made a number of ill-fated attempts to launch in the country, including last year’s plan to acquire crypto trading firm Ziglu.

Public hasn’t reached profitability but continues to grow and has a “healthy cash balance at the bank,” Abraham said in the interview.

“The funding markets have changed but this year has been the best year to date for us ever,” Abraham said, but did not reveal exact figures. “The first two quarters were the best in the history of the company.”

The news comes weeks after reports that Robinhood had cut around 150 employees, or 7% of its staff, after seeing a slowdown in trading volumes.

Reached for comment by PYMNTS, a Robinhood spokesperson provided this statement: “We’re ensuring operational excellence in how we work together on an ongoing basis. In some cases, this may mean teams make changes based on volume, workload, org design, and more.”

The layoffs, Robinhood’s third round of job cuts in just over a year, came after an earnings call in which the company reported that while its monthly active users (MAU) rose by around 400,000 to 11.8 million for the most recent quarter, that figure was almost half of the platform’s 21.3 million users during retail investing’s peak in the second quarter of 2021.

Last month also brought reports that Robinhood was cutting into the retail crypto trading business of Coinbase, possibly because of Coinbase’s higher fees on small-ticket trades.

“Our analysis suggests that COIN’s share of combined COIN retail + HOOD crypto volumes trended lower in April vs. the approximately 65% ratio in the prior three quarters,” Mizuho Securities USA analyst Dan Dolev wrote in a note to clients.

The fact that Robinhood did not increase spreads while Coinbase has been hiking fees for small-ticket traders to offset declines in volume is probably why the former “attracted some customers to its platform,” he said.

In addition, customers are beginning to push back on Coinbase’s steeper fees on small-ticket crypto trades, a practice which Robinhood has not undertaken.