Robinhood, a stock trading app whose popularity has surged in the pandemic, has raised another $200 million in funding, the company said on Monday, bringing its funding total to $800 million in recent months, and more than $1 billion since it was founded seven years ago.
The new round of funding, led by the hedge fund D1 Capital Partners, values the start-up at $11.2 billion.
Use of Robinhood’s app has exploded in recent months as people have been bored during the pandemic and stock market volatility has made day trading into an exciting hobby. In May, the company announced it had 13 million accounts.
But the company’s growth has also attracted critics. In March, the company’s service crashed several times in one week, leaving customers unable to transact as the stock market plummeted.
And traders who have lost money point to features in the app that make stock trading feel like a game. Ashton Kutcher, one of Robinhood’s investors, has even compared it to gambling, The New York Times previously reported. (Mr. Kutcher said he was not insinuating Robinhood was a gambling platform.)
In recent months, Robinhood has emphasized its education materials for responsible investing. The company said it planned to use the new money to expand its customer service team by hiring hundreds of people. (It does not have a phone number for customers to call.)
Robinhood has been a disruptive force in the investment world. It does not charge its users any fees for trading; rather, it makes money by selling the transaction to larger Wall Street firms. Last year, Charles Schwab, TD Ameritrade and E*Trade dropped their trading fees to compete.
Most American workers expecting $300 or $400 in extra weekly unemployment benefits from the federal government are unlikely to see it until the end of August, the Federal Emergency Management Agency said on Monday.
President Trump signed an executive order earlier this month, saying he was bypassing Congress to deliver emergency pandemic aid by directing F.E.M.A to use federal disaster assistance funds in order to increase the benefits of workers left unemployed by the pandemic recession.
On Monday, F.E.M.A. officials said seven states had thus far been approved to receive the money: Arizona, Iowa, Louisiana, New Mexico, Colorado, Missouri and Utah. They also laid out the timetable for those funds in a new “frequently asked questions” guidance about the program.
The guidance, citing the Labor Department, estimates that states will need an average of three weeks from the date of Mr. Trump’s order, Aug. 8, to adjust their unemployment systems in order to be eligible for the grants, which will supply $300 per week of federal funds per worker, with an option for states to kick in an additional $100 per week. States that win approval, it says, will see money flow after one business day.
Initial grants will provide only three weeks worth of benefits per state, the guidance said, and additional funds will be provided on a week-to-week basis “in order to ensure that funding remains available for the states who apply for the grant assistance.”
Some state leaders have expressed reservations about applying for the money. South Dakota’s governor has opted not to join the program.
As the pandemic-induced economic crisis drags on, jobless Americans are becoming more pessimistic about their prospects for getting back to work.
Nearly six in 10 Americans who are out of work because of the pandemic say they do not expect to return to their old jobs, according to a survey this month for The New York Times by the online research platform SurveyMonkey. That’s up from half who said the same a month ago.
Of those who are still out of work, 13 percent anticipate returning to their old jobs in the next month, down from 22 percent a month earlier.
The growing pessimism comes as hiring has slowed and other measures of economic activity have lost momentum. The Times survey adds to the evidence of a stall: The share of those surveyed who reported that they had returned to work fell slightly in August, perhaps reflecting the new wave of business closures in response to the virus. And overall consumer confidence dipped. Only 24 percent of Americans now say they are better off than a year ago, the lowest share in the survey’s three and a half years.
Economists say that if a large share of Americans are unable to return to their old jobs, the recovery will be slower. The longer the crisis lasts, the more likely that becomes: More than half of job seekers in the Times survey report having been out of work for five months or longer, consistent with other data showing rising…