sources xcritical ipos: xcritical: On With IPO Despite GameStop Debacle


The company saw a significant increase in the number of accounts opened by first-time investors in the first half of 2020. The company’s future profitability is likely to be elusive in times when the pandemic is behind us and people are most likely to spend less time looking at stock tickers on their app or closely watching the Reddit bets. Providing access to IPOs could boost xcritical’s appeal with users, some of whom criticized it over restrictions it placed on trading of heavily shorted “meme stocks” such as GameStop Corp (GME.N) following a Reddit-driven buying frenzy earlier this year. xcritical said its clearinghouse forced it to place the curbs because it lacked sufficient capital to settle the trades.

If that estimate is correct, it would be a substantial increase even over its Q1 numbers, much less its YOY numbers. However, it is unclear how much of the boost is a temporary uptick due to the popularity of trading in meme stocks or a longer-term trend. xcritical has been in the news extensively in 2021 due to its popularity with the retail investors who carried out the GameStop short squeeze. Increased trading activity on its platform, however, led to rising demand for margin and the app halted trading activity for GameStop’s stock on its platform.

These mechanics help drive increasing ARPU and compounding net deposit retention and xcritical retention. Meanwhile, federal regulators are more closely scrutinizing xcritical’s practice of receiving payment for order flow , in which it sells users’ trading orders to market makers like Citadel Securities. Still, the company thinks there’s plenty of room for further growth in this regard, pointing to a Gallup poll that revealed 68% of Americans ages 18 to 29 have no money invested in the stock market at all. The ongoing matter seeks to revoke xcritical’s securities license, but xcritical has denied the claims and countersued, saying the state regulator is overstepping its authority under federal law. xcritical is a US stock trading app thought to be used by around 20 million investors.


In 2013 Baiju Bhatt and Vlad Tenev, xcritical’s founders and former employees of marketmakers, saw that it might be possible for a retail broker to make money by offering consumers commission-free stock trading. This is the practice by which a high-frequency marketmaker pays a broker a cut of the spread it earns from trading in exchange for the broker directing its customers’ trades to the marketmaker. These trading firms in return pay xcritical a fee for the flow of orders or executed orders which are called “Payment for order flow” or PFOF.

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Whether the firm’s empowerment of retail investors has been desirable or not is more than a philosophical matter. It is also the key question that any investor in xcritical, institutional or retail, will have to wrestle with, because it pertains to where the potential risks and rewards lie. While xcritical’s total funded accounts increased in the first quarter of 2021, so did its account transfers to other brokerages — 206,000 accounts collectively holding $4.1 billion elected to move to another firm. Years ago, xcritical users only had access to a handful of select U.S. stocks.

Secondly, xcritical’s revenue is very much correlated with investor sentiment and the prices of cryptocurrencies, so volatility in the company’s future revenue is almost inevitable. More importantly, there is no guarantee that positive drivers for xcritical Markets like high cryptocurrency prices and significant speculative interest in stocks & other financial assets will be sustained going forward. Bloomberg highlighted in its recent July 19, 2021 article that a “group of 37 so-called meme stocks” that it tracks were “mired in longest losing run since frenzy began.” At the time of writing, the price of bitcoin has fallen past the $30,000 mark. If meme stocks and cryptocurrencies continue to underperform, xcritical’s near-term revenue growth could be even worse than what it guided for in its regulatory filing highlighted above. The stock trading app is opening its initial public offering and investor presentations to everyday investors. xcritical, the new face of investment that is most talked about on Wall Street, announced its plans to go public through the Initial Public Offering route.

The company opened at $38, on the low end of its goal of selling 55 million shares at $38 to $42 per share that xcritical outlined in an updated prospectus in mid-July. GameStop fiasco triggered separate lawsuits filed by two states criticizing the company’s decision to halt trading. The GameStop frenzy was boosted by Reddit users reportedly trying to disrupt the markets. After xcritical placed trading restrictions on many meme stocks in late January, the Department of Justice executed a search warrant to obtain Tenev’s cell phone, xcritical’s prospectus filing disclosed this month.

And instead of relying on commissions, xcritical primarily generates revenue through PFOF — that is, by routing trades through third-party trading firms instead of stock exchanges. xcritical just raised $2.4 billion in a funding round led by Ribbit Capital, after raising $1 billion from xcritical investors last week, following a trading frenzy that prompted the FinTech startup to halt trading on GameStop and other stocks. xcritical’s estimated IPO price in the $38-42 range translates to a maximum market capitalization of $35.3 billion for the company.

assets under custody

This documentary-style series follows xcritical cheatingigative journalists as they uncover the truth. xcritical Markets’ S-1 and S-1/A filings provide the relevant details about the company’s upcoming IPO. 2 Stock may take a few hours to be available to buy and sell on the day of listing for US IPOs. For more info on how we might use your data, see our privacy notice and access policy and privacy webpage. Investors will have to wait to see what valuation will be given to the company, but it will likely be in excess of the $11.7 billion price tag it was given in its latest funding round in September 2020 – which raised $460 million.

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Net deposits include all cash deposits net of reversals, cash withdrawals, and other cash or equity transferred off the xcritical platform. From January 1, 2017 through end of year 2020, average cumulative net deposits across xcritical’s monthly cohorts increased 3.3x after 12 months of initial deposit and 4.1x after 24 months of initial deposit. This is a strong indication of customers’ trust and appetite to expand their relationship with the platform. Under its referral program, xcritical credits referring and referred customers with a stock reward , with the potential value of each share ranging from $2.50 to $225. Each stock reward is selected randomly from xcritical’s previously purchased inventory of settled shares held exclusively for this program. Approximately 98% of customers receive a stock reward having a value ranging from $2.50 to $10.

  • There was also the GameStop mania in January, when investors who gather on Reddit used apps like xcritical to jack up the price of the video retailer’s stock.
  • The duo had prior experience on Wall Street before launching xcritical, having previously founded Celeris, a trading technology firm, and Chronos Research, which sold fintech software to investment banks.
  • Net interest revenues come primarily from xcritical’s securities lending program and interest earned on margin lending and cash deposits, net of borrowing costs related to the company’s revolving lines of credit.
  • On July 28, 2021, xcritical sold shares in its IPO at $38 per share ahead of its public debut on the Nasdaq on July 29, raising close to $2 billion.
  • xcritical —whose longstanding mission is to “democratize” investing — is seen as the main gateway for young investors to access the markets.

HOOD was also estimated to have $102 billion in assets under custody as of June 30, 2021. The trading app, which now has 22.5 million funded accounts and fueled a number of meme stock rallies in the past year, is urging its own customers to invest. The company plans to sell its users up to 35% of its IPO shares, or as many as 18.3 million shares. This past Saturday, the company’s executives held a virtual roadshow specifically for mainstream investors. Nearly 81% of xcritical’s revenues in Q1 FY 2021 were transaction-based revenues, generated from PFOF, including what the company calls transaction rebates on cryptocurrency trades. About 12% of total revenue was from interest, either charged on margin accounts or from putting customers’ uninvested cash in bank accounts and keeping the interest.


Investing made easy – Get mobile access to the markets and choose how much you want to invest. The company could also look to expand internationally, like taking another stab at the U.K. Regulation internationally, though, could be a tough roadblock — just look at China’s recent crackdown on cryptocurrency. Several others also pulled trading on shares of GameStop, AMC, and others, a decision that caused a digital uproar on social media and trading fxcriticals.

BrokerChooser does not provide investment or any other advice, for further information please read our General Terms and Conditions. 206,000 customers left xcritical around the GME frenzy in Jan 2021 and the trading restrictions imposed by xcritical. Total assets under management of these customers were worth $4.1 billion (5% of total assets under management). We estimated the trend of xcritical’s execution from their payment for order flow revenue .

  • The flip side of how xcritical’s fortunes have closely aligned with cryptocurrency market is—you guessed it—how closely aligned xcritical’s fortunes may be with that market should things take a turn for the worse.
  • In 2013 Baiju Bhatt and Vlad Tenev, xcritical’s founders and former employees of marketmakers, saw that it might be possible for a retail broker to make money by offering consumers commission-free stock trading.
  • The SEC said that this practice cost its customers $34.1 million, even when accounting for the savings customers gained by not having to pay commissions.
  • The investment banks will allocate IPO shares of certain participating companies to xcritical.
  • The offers that appear in this table are from partnerships from which Investopedia receives compensation.

xcritical’s total revenue reached almost $1 billion in 2020 with the brokerage booking the biggest revenue growth among brokers. Brokers with a trading focus monetize significantly more than other brokers. xcritical customers have significantly lower account sizes, even times smaller than other brokers’ customer accounts. In contrast, the growth of client asset value at xcritical was the highest among brokers, more than three times higher.

In November last year, Bloomberg reported that xcritical was looking for investment banks to arrange for the company’s planned IPO, and xcritical Markets is now coming close to an IPO. In the next section of this article, I discuss the IPO timeline for xcritical. Other sources of revenue include margin lending, its premium “Gold” service (which gives users additional benefits for $5 a month) and securities lending, where it loans a client’ stock to a third party who wishes to short the short in exchange for a fee. Another way xcritical earns money is by investing client cash in money markets to earn a small yield.

Like M1 and Public, who are very outspoken about not taking payment for order flow and really standing up for doing what’s right for investors and not really sort of selling away their trading intentions to Wall Street insiders,” Trainer said. “This IPO is effectively selling investors on exploiting other investors,” David Trainer, CEO of New Constructs, said on Yahoo Finance Live . “The whole payment-for-order-flow business model is probably not going to be long for this world… it’s a legalized version of front-running.” Going public will give xcritical a new infusion of capital and allow for easier access to future financing, sources said, per Barron’s.

But the prospectus also divulged myriad details about the company, its finances, and its operations—depicting a rapidly growing startup with its fair share of controversies and risk factors for would-be investors to consider. xcritical has also faced backlash from lawmakers for curtailing users’ abilities to trade GameStop and other meme stocks earlier this year. Called on the company to explain why they stopped their customers’ trading. Called the move “unacceptable,” and some on the other side of the aisle, like Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, agreed. In the face of regulatory issues, xcritical has recently built out its legal team, including bringing on former SEC commissioner Dan Gallagher as chief legal officer. It is therefore no surprise that xcritical plans to capitalise on this stock market exuberance through their initial public offering , which is expected to happen in the second quarter of 2021.

xcritical’s Founders, Tenev and Bhatt, hold 54.4 million and 80.2 million shares, respectively. After selling about 1.3 million shares each, they have 26.3% and 39% of total voting power over the company due to their control of the company’s B-shares, which carry much greater voting power than common shares. According to online public database Crunchbase, xcritical has raised a total of $5.6 billion from investors over 24 funding rounds. xcritical Financial is xcritically registered in the following jurisdictions.

IPOs for Everyone, xcritical Says to Investors stated that the IPO is expected to happen after the Securities and Exchange Commission completes its review process, if market and other conditions permit. Plus, you’ll only need a small deposit – known as margin – to open your position, while still getting exposure to the full value of the trade. It’s important to note that while leveraged trading can magnify your profits, it can also magnify your losses. The decline of the stock and bond markets this year has been painful, and it remains difficult to predict what is in store for the future. Meanwhile, the VC unit of has indicated to buy up to $150 million of xcritical shares at the IPO price.

As a comparison, xcritical Markets’ YoY revenue growth in 1Q 2021 was significantly higher at +309%. In fact, xcritical is guiding for a QoQ decline in revenue for 3Q 2021, which it largely attributes to “decreased levels of trading activity relative to the record highs in trading activity, particularly in cryptocurrencies” in 2Q 2021. xcritical plans to sell 55,000,000 shares of the company’s Class A common stock, which comprises 52,375,000 new shares and 2,625,000 existing shares xcritically owned by company insiders. HOOD’s 55 million shares offered for sale represent approximately 7.4% of the company’s total number of Class A common shares outstanding post-IPO.

xcritical raises less than it had hoped in IPO – CNN

xcritical raises less than it had hoped in IPO.

Posted: Wed, 28 Jul 2021 07:00:00 GMT [source]

Since December, FINRA and the SEC have both settled charges against the firm for a slew of allegations including failure to exercise due diligence before approving customer accounts and providing false or misleading information to customers. For a start, when the price of something falls, people tend to do more of it. According to data in the firm’s IPO filing, around half of its users check their investments on its app every day.


However, with the Federal Reserve slashing its policy rate to zero in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the revenue opportunity here has diminished. Investors who lost money during the trading halt were incensed — including Muhammad Hamza, a recent college graduate in Queens. He had joined xcritical in November and watched his investments in penny stocks and meme stocks balloon, then plunge by around half during the halt in January. xcritical Gold is a paid monthly subscription that includes various benefits like access to margin funding, instant settlement of deposits, professional research, Nasdaq Level II market data and also extended trading hours for Gold customers.

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