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IPO Access

Initial public offerings (IPOs) allow companies to sell stock as they go public. IPOs have an initial set price (before trading commences on the secondary market) and provide an additional way to be an early investor in companies you believe in.

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Frequently asked questions

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 eligible request has the same likelihood of receiving all, some, or none of the IPO shares they request. The number of shares you request does not change your chances of receiving an allocation.

How does Robinhood provide access to IPOs?

We partner with investment banks to help distribute IPO shares to the public. We are 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.

Can anyone get access to IPO shares?

There are some regulatory requirements that restrict industry professionals who cannot take part in IPOs. Generally, if you or an immediate family member work at a broker-dealer, are a portfolio manager, or an executive or director of a public company, you will be restricted from submitting orders for shares of an IPO. For more information, see FINRA Rules 5130 and 5131.

Keep in mind that IPOs are considered speculative and risky investments, and may not be appropriate for every investor. Robinhood does not make recommendations regarding any particular IPO. Learn more about the risks.

Visit our Help Center for more information on who can get IPO Access.

How can I request IPO shares?

You can request IPO shares by following these steps:

  1. Find an IPO that interests you
  2. Tap the I'm interested button
  3. Review the checklist and confirm your eligibility
  4. Tap the Request shares button
  5. Enter the details of your request
  6. Tap the Review button
  7. Swipe up to submit your request for shares

NOTE: You can only request shares after the underwriter sets the initial price range. You can edit or cancel your request until the end of the confirmation period, after final pricing.

Visit our Help Center for more information about how to request IPO shares.

How many IPO shares can I 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.

Visit our Help Center for more information on how many IPO shares you may receive.

Am I guaranteed IPO shares?

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

Visit our Help Center for more information on how many IPO shares you may receive.

What is the "flipping" policy?

Issuing companies and their underwriters may discourage flipping by refusing to allocate IPO shares to customers who have flipped shares in the past. Flipping could also lead us to offer fewer IPOs in the future. See the SEC's Investor Bulletin to learn more about "flipping" and investing in an IPO.

Like any investment you make, 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 IPOs for 60 days. This policy applies to all IPOs offered on IPO Access.

Are there any fees to access IPO shares?

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

How does Robinhood decide how many IPO shares I get?

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 eligible request has the same likelihood of receiving all, some, or none of the IPO shares they request. The number of shares you request does not change your chances of receiving an allocation.

Visit our Help Center to learn more about how we allocate IPO shares.

When will I know if I got IPO shares?

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

Does the amount of shares requested determine my allocation?

The amount 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 its listed IPO date?

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

Why are the list price and the opening price different?

The underwriter, working with the company, 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 are not available for at least three business days after a company goes public. Sometimes, it takes much longer (30 - 60 days) before a stock is eligible for options. Some stats exchanges look at when making that decision include:

  • Number of outstanding shares
  • Number of shareholders
  • Trading volume
  • Stock price
Why does Robinhood offer some, not all IPOs?

We partner with investment banks, acting in the role of underwriters, who invited Robinhood to be a selling group member and help distribute IPO shares to the public. That means we can only offer access to IPOs that our partners take part in.

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.

Visit our Help Center for more information about why we don’t support all IPOs.

Why are there no news stories in the app for an IPO company?

Once a company files to go public, there is a 25 day "quiet period." During the quiet period, we will block all news and analyst reports from the company’s stock detail page.

All that information will be available in the app once the quiet period is over.

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Terms you should know

Allocation

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

Conditional Offer to Buy (COB)

This is a request for IPO shares. By placing a COB, you’re asking for the opportunity to purchase your desired 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.

Initial public offering (IPO)

An Initial Public Offering (IPO) is one way for a private company to become a public company. Once a company is public, the general public can buy their stock. In the process of going public, underwriters help decide what price the company's stock should be. The proceeds from selling shares go to the company, allowing them to raise capital.

Prospectus

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

Primary market

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

Secondary market

The secondary market is where reselling occurs. Stock exchanges are secondary markets.

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 request for shares. This time window will be at least 60 minutes and is the last chance to alter a request. Once it's over, the conditional offer 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. Learn more.

Still have questions? Contact Robinhood Support