About IPO Access | Robinhood

About IPO Access

Initial public offerings (IPOs) allow companies to issue stock to the general public. IPOs have an initial set price (before trading commences on the secondary market) and provide the first opportunity for the general public to invest in the company.

FAQ

What is IPO Access?

IPO Access lets you buy shares at the IPO price as the stock becomes available to the general public. With our random allocation process, each customer’s eligible request has the same likelihood of receiving all, some, or none of the IPO shares they request. The number of shares you request doesn't change your chances of receiving an allocation.

How do we provide it?

We're invited by investment banks to participate in the distribution of IPO shares to the public. We're not an underwriter, so we don't work with the issuing company. Instead, investment banks allocate shares to us, and then we give our customers the chance to buy the shares we receive.

Who gets it?

There are some regulatory requirements that identify industry professionals, who are generally restricted from participating in IPOs. For instance, if you're employed by or associated with a broker-dealer or are a portfolio manager, or are an immediate family member of such a person and materially support or receive support from the person, you may be restricted from participation. For more information, see FINRA Rules 5130 and 5131. Also, check out How to sign up for IPO access for details.

Keep in mind

IPOs are considered speculative and risky investments, and may not be appropriate for every investor. Robinhood doesn’t make recommendations regarding any particular IPO. Learn more about the risks.

How to request IPO shares

Follow the steps in How to request IPO shares.

How many IPO shares can you get?

We receive a limited number of shares for each IPO. We use the number of shares, customer demand, and other factors to determine how many shares you'll get. You may get the full number of shares you requested, a partial amount, or none at all.

Are IPO shares guaranteed?

Not all customers who request IPO shares will receive them. We’re only given a limited number of shares to allocate to customers for each IPO. So we can't guarantee each customer will receive the amount they requested, or any shares at all.

Flipping policy

Issuing companies and their underwriters typically discourage flipping of shares. Underwriters may restrict Robinhood from participating in IPOs in the future if we allow the practice of flipping. Review the SEC's Investor Bulletin to learn more about flipping and investing in an IPO.

You can sell the shares you received through IPO access at any point in time. However, if you sell IPO shares within 30 days of the IPO, it's considered flipping and you may be prevented from participating in IPO access for 60 days. This policy applies to all IPOs offered with IPO access.

Are there fees for accessing IPO shares?

No fees are added when investing in an IPO company. You simply pay for the shares you are allocated at the IPO price.

How is it decided who gets IPO shares?

To make things fair, our model randomly selects who receives IPO shares from a pool of everyone who submitted a request (known as a conditional offer to buy). Each eligible person can enter a request for shares. Each customer’s eligible request has the same likelihood of receiving all, some, or none of the IPO shares they request. The number of shares you request doesn’t change your chances of receiving an allocation.

For details, check out Why didn't I get the requested IPO shares?

You’ll get a notification

If you've requested IPO shares, we'll let you know how many you can buy on the IPO date. We allocate shares generally after the market opens, but before the IPO issuer’s shares are trading on the open exchange.

Does the amount of shares requested determine the allocation?

The number of shares you request factors into how many you actually get, but it doesn’t affect the likelihood that you’ll get any allocation. You may get all, some, or none of the IPO shares you request. The amount you request lets us know how many shares you're interested in purchasing.

Why isn’t the stock trading on the listed IPO date?

When a company goes public, its stock might not start trading until midday on its IPO date. This is because underwriters must ensure they've allocated all the sold IPO shares before the stock can begin trading in the secondary market.

Why are the list price and the opening price different?

The underwriter, working with the issuer, determines the list price. Once the stock is trading, the opening price is determined by what investors are willing to pay per share, which also determines the stock’s price moving forward.

When are options available on IPO shares?

Exchanges decide when they will start making options available. Options aren't available for at least 3 business days after a company goes public. Sometimes, it takes much longer (30-60 days) before a stock is eligible for options. Stock exchanges look at various factors when making that decision, including:

  • Number of outstanding shares
  • Number of shareholders
  • Trading volume
  • Stock price
Why doesn't Robinhood offer all IPOs?

We work with investment banks, acting in the role of underwriters, who invite Robinhood to be a selling group member and help distribute IPO shares to the public. That means we can only offer access to IPOs in which we're invited to participate.

We're hoping to expand our partnerships to help our customers gain access to more IPOs. We'll send you updates as our IPO program grows.

Why doesn’t an IPO have any news stories?

Once a company files to go public, there's a quiet period. During the quiet period, we block news from the company’s stock detail page.

Company information will be available in the app once the IPO is complete and shares are trading in the public markets.

IPO terms to know

Allocation

How a firm distributes shares to their customers. For example, Robinhood performs a randomized allocation.

Conditional offer to buy

This is a request for IPO shares. By placing a conditional offer to buy (COB), you’re asking for the opportunity to purchase a quantity of shares at the IPO price. An investor may place, edit, or cancel a COB after the initial price range is published and before the confirmation period ends.

Effective date

This is when the registration statement is confirmed; typically the night before an IPO is set to trade.

Flipping

When an investor sells their allocated IPO shares in the first 30 days after the IPO begins to trade publicly.

Prospectus

The first and most detailed part of a company's IPO filing. This includes information about their business activities, financial performance, risks, and the offering.

Primary market

The primary market is where investors can buy newly-issued public shares in a company.

Secondary market

The secondary market is where reselling occurs. Stock exchanges provide a marketplace where shares of a publicly traded company can be purchased or sold on the secondary markets such as the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq.

Issuer

The company that's going public and issuing shares.

Price range

The estimated price per share for the IPO. The issuing company and the underwriter work together to set the range. It gives investors a general idea of what the IPO price might be. The price range may change during the IPO process. The final price is available the night before the IPO is complete.

List price

Also known as the public offering price or IPO price. This is the final price for shares before the company goes public.

Note

The opening price on the secondary market can vary from the list price since supply and demand determine the price.

Quiet period

There are limits to what an IPOing company can say and release to the public. This "quiet period" usually lasts through the IPO process and ends 25 days after the IPO list date. During this time, the company can't release information not found in their S-1 filing.

Confirmation period

On the day before the IPO, investors will have time to enter, cancel, or edit their conditional order for shares. This time window will be at least 60 minutes and is the last chance to enter, edit, or cancel the customer’s conditional order. Once it's over, the conditional order to buy becomes a valid purchase contract. After that point, you can't adjust your request.

Underwriter

The investment bank or group of banks that helps a company go public. The banks help establish the price range, facilitate the company valuation, and write the prospectus.

Disclosures

IPOs can be risky and speculative investments, and may not be appropriate for every investor. For details, review our Initial Public Offering Risk Disclosures.

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All investing involves risk.

Brokerage services are offered through Robinhood Financial LLC, (“RHF”) a registered broker-dealer (member SIPC) and clearing services through Robinhood Securities, LLC, (“RHS”) a registered broker dealer (member SIPC). Cryptocurrency services are offered through Robinhood Crypto, LLC (“RHC”) (NMLS ID: 1702840). Review a list of RHC licenses for more information.The Robinhood Money spending account is offered through Robinhood Money, LLC (“RHY”) (NMLS ID: 1990968), a licensed money transmitter. Review a list of our licenses for more information. Credit card products are offered by Robinhood Credit, Inc. ("RCT") (NMLS ID: 1781911 and issued by Coastal Community Bank, Member FDIC, pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc.

The Robinhood Cash Card is a prepaid card issued by Sutton Bank, Member FDIC, pursuant to a license from Mastercard® International Incorporated. Mastercard and the circles design are registered trademarks of Mastercard International Incorporated.

RHF, RHY, RHC, RCT, and RHS are affiliated entities and wholly owned subsidiaries of Robinhood Markets, Inc. RHF, RHY, RHC, RCT, and RHS are not banks. Products offered by RHF are not FDIC insured and involve risk, including possible loss of principal. RHC isn’t a member of FINRA and accounts are not FDIC insured or protected by SIPC.

RHY is not a member of FINRA, and products are not subject to SIPC protection, but funds held in the Robinhood spending account and Robinhood Cash Card account may be eligible for FDIC pass-through insurance (review the Robinhood Cash Card Agreement and the Robinhood Spending Account Agreement).

Options trading entails significant risk and is not appropriate for all customers. Customers must read and understand the Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options before engaging in any options trading strategies. Options transactions are often complex and may involve the potential of losing the entire investment in a relatively short period of time. Certain complex options strategies carry additional risk, including the potential for losses that may exceed the original investment amount.

Commission-free trading of stocks, ETFs and options refers to $0 commissions for Robinhood Financial self-directed individual cash or margin brokerage accounts that trade U.S. listed securities and certain OTC securities electronically. Keep in mind, other fees such as trading (non-commission) fees, Gold subscription fees, wire transfer fees, and paper statement fees may apply to your brokerage account. Please see Robinhood Financial's Fee Schedule to learn more.

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