Baiju Bhatt Net Worth: Baiju Bhatt is an Indian-American entrepreneur with a net worth of $ 1 billion. He is perhaps best known for co-founding Vladimir Tenev as well as online trading company Robinhood. Born to immigrant parents from India, Bhatt attended Stanford University where Tenev was his classmate. They both eventually became billionaires thanks to Robinhood. However, Bhatt’s rise to fame did not happen without controversy. In 2021, his company caught fire as a result of the infamous GameStop debacle, where Robinhood was accused of market manipulation by several political commentators and financial experts.
early life: Baiju Bhatt was born in 1984 to Indian parents who had earlier visited the United States. Bhatt’s family is of Gujarati descent, an Indo-Aryan ethnographic group common in the Gujarat region of India. As a young boy, Baiju grew up in Pucosan, Virginia. After graduating from high school, he attended Stanford University and studied physics. Not satisfied with his bachelor’s degree in physics, Bhatt earned his master’s degree in mathematics in 2008. During their first stint at Stanford, Baiju struck up a friendship with Vladimir Tenev, and the pair first began developing ideas during their online trading platform. College day.
Carrier: Although Bhatt sowed the seeds for future financial success at Stanford, he would not venture into entrepreneurship for some time. After leaving university, Baiju previously worked with Tenev for various financial institutions in New York. The pair were created to help various companies build high-frequency trading platforms, and this inspired them to create their own independent online trading platform.
The concept was constructed around the idea that professional traders and firms were paying almost zero fees to execute trades on an electronic basis. Tenev and Bhatt asked themselves why no one built an online trading platform with zero commission fees. When they could not answer this question, they decided to create their own online trading platform.
Another major source of inspiration came from socio-economic factors of that time period. Bhatt graduated from Stanford at the height of the 2008 financial collapse, largely by irresponsible financial systems built on a mortgage crisis that was just waiting to happen. Baiju then saw the Occupy Wall Street Protest during 2011, and this inspired him to make trading more accessible and fair for the average person. Robinhood’s main mission was to invest for all and start making money with the stock market. There is definitely clue in the name of the company; Robin Hood was a great man who robbed the rich to give to the poor.
Robinhood was officially born in 2013, with Bhatt and Tenev working as co-founders and equal partners. As of 2016, the zero-commission stock brokerage app had one million users. The number will grow astronomically in a relatively short period of time, and by 2018 Robinhood had 3 million users. This increase was largely due to a simple referral program under which free stock was given to existing users in exchange for bringing in new users.
This progress saw a massive increase in the personal wealth of both Vladimir and Baiju, and by 2018 both men became billionaires. In addition, the company’s valuation itself rose to $ 6 billion. That year, Bhatt spoke at Differ SF 2019 and announced plans to launch an IPO (initial public offering) by next year. Despite the 2020 stock market crash, trading on the platform actually increased that year.
Also in 2020, Robinhood raised $ 280 million in venture funds led by Sequoia Capital, giving the company a valuation of $ 8.3 billion. Another round of funding came after D1 Capital Partners invested $ 200 million in the company. By 2021, Robinhood had more than 13 million registered users. The company has grown tremendously in less than 10 years.
Conflict: Despite its success, Robinhood has been involved in many controversies over the years, with Baiju Bhatt being entrusted with the responsibility as the company’s public face. Payments for order flow, security breaches, outages and infinite leverage are all notable concerns.
One of the saddest controversies faced by Bhatt was the suicide of Alexander Kern, a 20-year-old student. Kearns committed suicide largely because his Robinhood account showed a negative balance of $ 730,000, but was later detected to be an error in Robinhood’s system. Robinhood then faced a lawsuit from the Cairns estate.
Another famous controversy occurred during the 2021 GameStop Stock Fasco. Traders on Reddit were able to pull the value of GameStop stock up significantly by acting together as a trading block. As many high-level investors and firms were actively shorting this stock, some of the world’s wealthiest lost billions of dollars. Robinhood’s losses were also severe, and this prompted Robinhood to temporarily ban investors from GameStop stock.
The move was widely criticized, and was seen by many observers as a market manipulation. The links of Robinhood and the Wall Street elite were exposed, and it was clear that Robinhood was acting on behalf of the same hedge fund traders who shorted GameStop stock. This complete defeat was somewhat ironic as Robinhood was originally set up to make the business more accessible to the average person, largely shifting power away from Wall Street firms and businessmen. Many argued that instead of “taking from the rich and giving to the poor,” Robinhood was doing the exact opposite. Robinhood was forced to raise $ 1 billion in emergency funds.