Robinhood buys Say Technologies in $140M all-cash deal

abdelaziz Fathi

Popular trading app Robinhood is adding some muscle to its offering, having acquired New York-based investment communications firm Say Technologies for a $140 million all-cash deal.

Say is a fintech business founded nearly three years ago to give investors a better way to engage with the companies they own, and to give corporate managers tools to better understand their investors. The startup offers retail investors a communication platform to address their questions to the management of public companies they invest in. Shareholders can submit and vote for questions to be asked on annual meetings, earnings calls and other events.

“We founded Say to give investors a better way to engage with the companies they own, and to give companies tools to better understand and access their investors. As part of the Robinhood family, we’ll be able to further our goal of creating a new ecosystem of ownership and engagement to benefit all investors and companies,” said Alex Lebow, Co-Founder & CEO of Say Technologies.

As part of the Robinhood family, Say will keep offering its proxy voting services and Q&A platform to existing customers.

“By joining forces with Robinhood, we’ll keep serving our existing customers, while continuing to build a new ecosystem of ownership and engagement to benefit all investors and companies,” the company added.

Following the news, shares of Robinhood dropped 4 percent but the volatile stock still up more than 50% in its second week of trading.

Robinhood, which started its NASDAQ listing earlier this month under the ticker HOOD, had a meme-stock moment last week after news suggested that existing shareholders will sell up to 98 million shares over time. The surprising share sale announcement knocked the stock down by 30%, but it recouped losses after Robinhood clarified that these sales would not start right away.

Robinhood was one of the most anticipated IPOs of the year even as the upstart brokerage firm faces regulatory scrutiny on multiple fronts. Most recently, its co-founders, Vladimir Tenev and Baiju Bhatt, faced probes as they are not licensed by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

The discount brokerage said in July that the probe is at an advanced stage and could result in fines, penalties and monetary settlements, as well as additional compliance requirements or other consequences.

The news was the latest headache for Robinhood. The free-commission brokerage was also sued by the family of a 20-year-old student, who committed suicide last year thinking he incurred losses of over $700,000 on his Robinhood account.

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