‘Market crash’: Robinhood announces more layoffs as crypto trading tanks

John Hugh DeMastri, DCNF

Robinhood, a major player in the retail investing market, will be laying off 23% of staff, citing inflation and the floundering crypto market as driving factors of the decision.

Robinhood had previously laid off 9% of its staff in April, according to The Wall Street Journal. Tenev hoped that the initial layoffs and a focus on “greater cost discipline throughout the organization” would be sufficient, but in reality they “did not go far enough,” according to a Tuesday press release.

“Last year, we staffed many of our operations functions under the assumption that the heightened retail engagement we had been seeing with the stock and crypto markets in the COVID era would persist into 2022,” Tenev said in the press release. “Since [April’s layoffs], we have seen additional deterioration of the macro environment, with inflation at 40-year highs accompanied by a broad crypto market crash. This has further reduced customer trading activity and assets under custody.”

Robinhood’s assets under custody, a measure of the total amount of investments it makes on behalf of clients, have fallen almost $30 billion dollars from $93 billion in the first quarter, to $64 billion in the second quarter, according to a Tuesday earnings presentation released by Robinhood. Robinhood’s assets under custody peaked last year in quarter two, at $102 billion dollars, representing an almost $40 billion dollar loss of assets in custody over the course of the past year.

Robinhood saw a rise in stock value during a pandemic-fueled boom in retail investment, with shares jumping from their initial price at $38 per share to $85 per share during their first month of trading in July 2021, according to CNBC. Shares have since plummeted, closing at $9.23 on Tuesday, CNBC reports.

The company has also seen significant declines in both total earnings and users, with revenue falling to $318 million, down almost 44% from this time last year, and monthly users falling to 14 million, down over 33% from this time last year, according to Robinhood’s quarterly earnings presentation.

Robinhood offered full employment benefits to all employees through Oct. 1st, and will provide a severance payment and job search resources to all employees being laid off, according to the press release.

“We’ve overcome many obstacles and have emerged from each a stronger and more resilient company,” Tenev said in an attempt to rally remaining workers. “This will be no different.”

Robinhood declined the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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