Robinhood Snaps Up AI Firm Pluto to Boost Retail Trading Smarts

Leading retail investment platform Robinhood announced Monday that it has acquired Pluto, an AI-powered investment advice company that was positioned to give “Generation Z” guidance about their financial future.

While the use of AI in analyzing markets and developing investment strategies is increasingly common, the acquisition appears to be the first foray by Robinhood to bring the technology to its more than 10 million monthly active users.

Mayank Agarwal, Robinhood’s VP of Engineering, said in the announcement that the company looks to use Pluto’s “expertise in artificial intelligence coupled with a mission-aligned passion to democratize finance to complement our team’s effort to bring AI-powered tools to our customers.”

Pluto offered web-based services like enhanced data analysis, personalized investment strategies, real-time insights, and portfolio optimization delivered through ”judgment-free conversational AI.” Described as an “investing copilot,” its system provided advanced data analytics using large language models to process market data, identify trends and opportunities faster, and tailor investment recommendations to individual customer profiles based on risk tolerance and financial goals.

Pluto has since taken its service offline, labeling its website as “for informational purposes only.”

Pluto’s founder and CEO is Jacob Sansbury, who started the company at age 24 and was celebrated on Pluto’s TikTok channel as a “Gen Z boss.” He previously worked on NVIDIA’s cloud gaming service and, according to Robinhood, was the youngest engineer ever hired at Connecticut-based asset manager Bridgewater, where he worked on “quantitative finance and systematic investing.”

Sansbury will now join Robinhood and help “integrate AI-powered capabilities across the Robinhood platform,” the company said.

“Robinhood is the ideal destination to build products that democratize access to financial services like wealth management and financial planning through state-of-the-art AI,” Sansbury said in the announcement.

Robinhood and its mobile apps are known for providing a user-friendly interface for retail investors to trade stocks, options, and cryptocurrencies. Its accessibility gave the platform an outsized role in the 2021 “meme stock” craze, which saw individual investors rally behind stocks of companies like GameStop, confounding Wall Street.

The company has been expanding its offerings recently, adding services like retirement products and credit cards. Last month, Robinhood acquired Bitstamp, a cryptocurrency exchange, for $200 million.

Edited by Ryan Ozawa.

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