Robinhood, the fintech company that rose to prominence last year when retail investors flocked to its platform to trade shares of GameStop, is closing its Charlotte office.
Why it matters: Robinhood’s decision to close locally came just over a year after its flashy announcement to expand here.
- Local leaders heralded that announcement as yet another sign the city was becoming a hotspot for fintech job growth.
Zoom out: The decision comes amid a company-wide layoff of 23% of its entire staff, as Axios’ Dan Primack reports.
- Robinhood surged in popularity during the bull market for stocks, as Primack notes. The company has now faced lower trading volumes and revenue as markets have retreated.
- The company-wide layoffs impact 780 people, Robinhood spokesperson Casey Becker tells Axios. 2,600 employees will remain with the company.
What they’re saying: “Employees in Charlotte who remain with Robinhood will begin working under our work from anywhere model,” Becker said.
- It’s unclear how many Robinhood employees in Charlotte are losing their jobs. Becker say the company does not share region-specific information.
- Earlier this year, the company also laid off about 9% of its staff. That represented “small number” of its Charlotte staff, as the Observer reported.
Flashback: In March 2021, Robinhood announced plans to open a Charlotte office at Legacy Union in Uptown. The local office would house customer support account operations. It’d have analysts, operations personnel, and customer experience and account operations staffers who would assist customers with financial advice.
Incentives: Robinhood promised to create 389 new jobs in exchange for about $4 million in incentives, mostly from the state, over 12 years.
To date, no payments have been made on the company’s Job Development Investment Grant, says David Rhoades, spokesperson for the North Carolina Commerce Department.
- The company was also to receive $157,000 in incentives from the city of Charlotte. To date, the city has not paid out any incentives to Robinhood, spokesperson Gregg Watkins says.
Editor’s note: We updated this story with details from the city of Charlotte.