FinTech startup Robinhood announced back in early February that it would be moving forward with its planned initial public offering (IPO) through either a direct listing or seek a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) despite the overflowing public contempt that the trading platform was facing. It is almost as if consumer enthusiasm has little to do with the company’s business model.
The announcement came as a shock to most of the public who had yet to realize how little control that they truly have over their own lives.
The tides, however, may have finally turned against Tenev and Robinhood, as some key early investors have now started to doubt not only the legitimacy of the operation, but also the leadership heading it. The rumors started to swirl following Tenev’s decision to join Barstool Sports founder, Dave Portnoy, on a livestream to discuss he and the firm’s reaction to mass retail traders having their first taste of success during the GameStop mania.
So much so, that there is growing concern that the IPO may now be a nonstarter.
“Watching Vlad up there was tough,” one early investor told The Stonk Market anonymously, “He put on a hat that was created because of a meme and argued with a man whose made hundreds of millions of dollars after turning himself into a meme—also to discuss a near catastrophe catalyzed by the manipulation of meme stocks. Maybe the world has just passed me by, but I could not feel any less comfortable with my money in Tenev’s hands… Thank God it isn’t my lifesavings like some of those Reddit guys, huh?” The multi-millionaire chuckled.
Resisting the urge to punch him between the eyes, I asked what he thought was the most concerning part of the livestream.
He explained that it was hard to pick one thing in particular, but if he had to—it was the fact that Tenev let Portnoy talk him in circles, despite the fact he was seemingly incapable of even understanding the concept of liquidity.