Robinhood stock trading app confirms $110M raise at $1.3B valuation

Zero-fee stock trading app Robinhood has joined the unicorn club thanks to reaching 2 million users and 17% month-over-month growth of its revenue-driving Robinhood Gold subscription product. The startup confirmed to TechCrunch that it’s raised $110 million at a $1.3 billion valuation led by DST Global, with participation by existing investors NEA, Index Ventures and Ribbit Capital, plus new investors Thrive and Greenoaks.

Today’s announcement confirm’s TechCrunch scoop from last month that Robinhood was raising at $1.3 billion from DST. The 80-person, 4-year-old startup has now pulled in $176 million in total funding.

“But How Are You Going To Make Money?”

“Our investors are saying ‘we haven’t ever seen a finance company that’s managed to grow like an internet company’” Robinhood co-founder Baiju Bhatt tells me. It’s hit 2 million users, up from 1 million in October, and it’s now adding around 140,000 accounts per month.

Other online brokerages like Scottrade and E*trade charge $7 to $10 per trade. But by making trading free, Robinhood has saved its users a half billion dollars in commissions on the $50 billion in transactions its processed. Bhatt beams, “We pulled a half-billion dollars out of the finance industry and redistributed it to average young Americans. That’s something I’m personally very proud about.”

“But ‘how are you going to make money long-term?’ has been a question mark” Bhatt says. Gold has answered that question.” A Gold subscription lets users borrow up to double the money in their account to trade on margin with leverage, plus skip the three-day waiting period for deposits and make trades instantly. Gold costs $6 to $15 per month for smaller account sizes and less borrwing power, while higher prices up to $200 per month let people borrow up to $50,000.

Robinhood also earns money from rebates its gets for directing its order flow to broker dealers, though Bhatt insists “We do not sell data to anyone. We have never sold data to anyone. We just do not do that.” There have been misconceptions that Robinhood sells high-frequency traders its data to help them trade against the startup’s customers. But Bhatt says “The rules around this stuff as so tight. We’re not a social media company. If we even step slightly out of line with anything we all go to jail.”

Meanwhile, Robinhood earns money on the interest of cash sitting in its users’ accounts, which could get a boost if the Fed raises the interest rate.

“It’s gone from ‘we want to see where the revenue is going’ to wow that’s really strong’” Bhatt relays.

Referralhood

Robinhood is also launching a new referral program today, designed to lure new users but also teach them how to use the app. Co-founder Baiju Bhatt tells the company was trying to figure out “how do we build a referral program where when the person signs up, they get a unit of our service for free, like with Uber you get a ride for free so you immediately know what Uber does.”

Now when one user refers someone else who signs up, both get one share of a randomly selected company from a set that includes Facebook, Apple, RiteAid, Ford, and General Electric. “Most people who don’t invest in the stock market, their biggest hangup is they don’t know which stock to buy their very first time” Bhatt says. But he insists people should dive in to start learning.

Robinhood has plenty to keep learning itself. It will have to continue to clamp down on fraud to minimize its costs. Meanwhile, it will have to compete with the big brokerages like Charles Schwab that are responding to its invasion of their market by lowering trading fees.

But if the startup can continue to make a historically expensive service free through a lean engineering team instead of a giant brick-and-mortar footprint, it could shake up the finance industry in a big way.

via TechCrunch

Kendrick Lamar Announces the ‘DAMN.’ Tour


Kendrick Lamar has just announced that he is to embark on a tour of his exceptional album DAMN. Taking place in North America through July and August, the 17-stop tour will also feature his “goosebumps” collaborator Travis Scott alongside D.R.A.M. Check out the full tour dates and artwork below.

July 12 – Phoenix, AZ @ Gila River ArenaJuly 14 – Dallas, TX @ American Airlines Center
July 15 – Houston, TX @ Toyota Center
July 17 – Duluth, GA @ Infinite Energy Arena
July 19 – Philadelphia, PA @ Wells Fargo Center
July 20 – Brooklyn, NY @ Barclays Center
July 21 – Washington, DC @ Verizon Center
July 22 – Boston, MA @ TD Garden
July 25 – Toronto, ON @ Air Canada Centre
July 26 – Auburn Hills, MI @ The Palace of Auburn Hills
July 27 – Chicago, IL @ United Center
July 29 – Denver, CO @ Pepsi Center
August 1 – Seattle, WA @ Tacoma Dome
August 2 – Vancouver, BC @ Rogers Arena
August 4 – Oakland, CA @ Oracle Arena
August 5 – Las Vegas, NV @ T-Mobile Arena
August 6 – Los Angeles, CA @ STAPLES Center

Tickets for The ‘DAMN.’ Tour will go on sale to the general public on Friday, April 28th at Ticketmaster, with an American Express pre-sale starting Tuesday, April 25th.

‘The DAMN. Tour’ announcement follows up on the news that Kendrick surpassed Drake’s More Life in first week sales, incredibly shifting over 600,000 units – way above what forecasters initially suggested. You can purchase Kendrick’s DAMN. T-shirt right here, and watch the “goosebumps” video with his upcoming tour-mate below.

Missed out on attending this year’s Coachella? Make sure check out all the best action from this weekend’s performances right here.

via Highsnobiety

Listen to Migel and Dua Lipa Team up on New Single “Lost in Your Light”

Miguel has joined forces with UK-based singer Dua Lipa on new single "Lost in Your Light." The song is from Lipa’s upcoming album and is a chance for Miguel to showcase his power pop credentials. The uplifting single is listenable via Apple Music and you can hear a snippet of it below. This song is the only feature on the self-titled LP, which is due to be released on June 2.

There hasn’t been an album release from Miguel this year, but he’s still keeping busy: he was last seen on the DJ Premier-produced "2 LOVIN U."

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Kendrick Lamar’s ‘DAMN.’ Beats Drake’s ‘More Life’ as Largest Debut of 2017

Last week, it was incorrectly forecasted by Billboard that Kendrick Lamar‘s DAMN. would lose to Drake‘s More Life as the largest debut of 2017. DAMN. was projected to move 475,000 equivalent album units in its first week, slightly behind Drake’s 505,000 units moved. However, the numbers are in: K-Dot’s latest full-length studio album moved a whopping 603,000 album units opening week, with 353,000 of that in pure sales, according to Nielsen Music. DAMN. is the largest sales week since Drake’s VIEWS moved 1.04 million units in its launch week last May. The album is also Kendrick Lamar’s biggest sales week ever, outperforming 2015’s To Pimp a Butterfly which moved 324,000 units.

Unfortunately, even with convincing rumors circulating the Internet, Kendrick does not plan to release another new album anytime soon. Stream the album below again and let us know if you think Kendrick’s project deserved top spot over Drake’s album.

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Supreme & Nike Finally Confirm 3 Collaborative Air Uptempos Dropping This Week


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After we reported on a number of leaked images (the likes of A$AP Bari and Barcelona forward Neymar Jr. were gifted early pairs), Supreme has finally confirmed a collaborative Uptempo alongside Nike.

The pack includes three colorways, with gold, black and red versions included, all featuring reflective lettering. Diverging from the basketball sneaker’s classic design, Supreme’s versions now read “SUPREME” in chunky bubble letters instead of the classic “AIR” lettering. The sneakers are rounded out with nubuck uppers, Air-Sole units, and elastic gores across the tongues.

Watch for availability to begin online only in US & Europe on April 27th, then in Japanese stores on April 29th.

via Highsnobiety

Quavo and KeKe Palmer Share New Beat-Heavy Track “Wind Up”

KeKe Palmer links up with MigosQuavo on a banger called "Wind Up." The track follows KeKe’s 2016 EP Lauren, which dropped last November. Supported by the Honcho’s verse which features the lyrics, "Quavo tune it, I got grind ya (grind ya)/But you cross the world like find ya (find ya)/I like your style, who designed ya? (Style)/Now bring that ass back, rewind ya/Quavo fire like arson (ayy)/Shoot her down like marshals/She don’t do this often (no)/But she know it’s poppin’/I’m goin’ to find her/I found her on the island/She look like she from China/Her best friend her stylist (her best friend).”

In other Migos news, their album C U L T U R E just hit Platinum status.

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Frank Ocean Premieres “Lens” and a Travis Scott Remix on ‘Blonded Radio’

On the latest episode of Frank Ocean’s Beats Radio 1 blonded RADIO show, the enigmatic artist surprised fans with the abrupt premiere of "Lens." As if that weren’t enough, near the end of the show Ocean played a remix of his new track "Lens" featuring Travis Scott. The remix features La Flame assisting with vocals over the slow and somber track before throwing it back to Frank Ocean. Listen to Frank Ocean’s "Lens" on Apple Music and the Travis Scott remix below.

Also, make sure to listen to Frank Ocean’s track "Biking" featuring JAY Z and Tyler, The Creator which he debuted on the third episode of blonded RADIO.

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Nike Air Max 97 “Metallic Gold” Official Images & Release Date


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Brand: Nike

Model: Air Max 97 “Metallic Gold/Team Red-Black-White”

Key Features: The model’s metallic accenting, leather ridge upper, and large, visible Air unit.

Release Date: Spring 2017

Price: Approximately $170 USD

Availability: Nike

Editor’s Notes: With the Nike Air Max 97 “Silver Bullet” having caused a massive stir in the worldwide sneaker community, following stunts such as numerous re-releases and Italian exclusives, the official unveiling of the model’s golden colorway would appear to be the next logical step.

Despite having been made aware of the sneaker’s eventual return for some months now, it is nice to get a detailed look at the colorway before its planned release on Thursday, May 18.

Stay tuned to Highsnobiety for further updates on the aforementioned silhouette, and be sure to check out ten of the best user-submitted sneaker shots in this week’s Instagram round-up.

via Highsnobiety

Kendrick Lamar’s ‘DAMN.’ Is Introspective And Unforgiving

Kendrick Lamar performs a DAMN.-heavy set on Sunday at the 2017 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.

Kevin Winter/Getty Images


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Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Kendrick Lamar performs a DAMN.-heavy set on Sunday at the 2017 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Spoiler alert: DAMN. opens with Kendrick Lamar narrating his own shooting death at the hands of a blind assailant. This seems to be a tradition amongst Los Angeles rappers: Lamar’s most obvious predecessor, Ice Cube, rapped about dying at least three times on his first two albums. The shared message from both artists is that violent ends can arrive unexpectedly, especially if you’re young, black and male.

It’s no coincidence that Lamar decided to release DAMN. on Good Friday, a day meant to mark the death of the righteous at the hands of tyrants. Lamar isn’t a Christian rapper in the conventional sense — his songs aren’t in explicit exaltation of His glory — and though DAMN. is redolent with Biblical references, the temperament is decidedly Old Testament, filled with cold wrath and righteous punishments owing to the wages of sin and the blood of innocents. The tone on DAMN. is a stark contrast to the funky exuberance on Lamar’s much-lauded To Pimp a Butterfly from 2015: There, he seemed to revel in a torrent of creative intensity that some found exhilarating, others indulgent. If that album was like billiard balls scattering after the break, then DAMN. wraps its focus inward, tight and layered, like a bundle of rubber bands.

Its 14 songs, all titled with brief concepts such as “FEEL.”, “LOYALTY.”, and “DNA.”, explore dualities within both the soul and American society. In some cases, the fractures are made obvious between songs — “LUST.” and “LOVE.” or “PRIDE.” and “HUMBLE.,” for example — but even within a track, Lamar is constantly exploring conflicts and contradictions. On “DNA.,” the album’s first fully fleshed-out song, he raps back-to-back: “I got millions, I got riches, buildin’ in my DNA / I got dark, I got evil, that rot inside my DNA.” Likewise, on the nearly eight-minute marathon “FEAR.,” he invites us into his anxious mindset, where there’s a thin line between confidence and venality, and any hint of success also carries with it the threat of loss.

This introspection is also reflected in the mostly somber production, which departs from the meaty P-Funk influences of Butterfly in favor of more minimalist moods. At times, there’s perhaps too little there; I’ve had the album on nonstop since the minute it came out and I still can’t remember what “GOD.” or “LOYALTY.” sound like. But in other places, especially on “FEAR.” and “PRIDE.”, the soulful spareness works well with the song’s themes and Lamar’s understated performance. To put it a different way, Butterfly felt very music-forward, whereas DAMN. is built out of bars.

On the pre-album single “The Heart Part 4,” he boldly proclaimed himself to be this era’s “greatest rapper alive,” and DAMN. aims to secure his hold on that title belt. Lamar’s wordplay has always been intricate, but he’s finding new ways to push its limits: The way he super-stacks rhyming couplets rivals Eminem in his prime, while his constant modulation of voice and pacing allows him to play different characters within a single song. The stunning closer, “DUCKWORTH,.,” also burnishes his reputation as one of hip-hop’s most vivid storytellers, as he tells the supposedly true tale of how his label boss, Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith, once came close to killing Lamar’s own father 20 years ago.

Perhaps nothing suggests his position atop hip-hop’s leaderboard more than the fact that, almost as soon as DAMN. came out, there was an internet-fueled rumor that since he “died” on Good Friday, it followed that he’d be resurrected on Easter Sunday via a surprise second album. (That’s less outlandish a thought than it would have been a year ago, before Frank Ocean dropped Endless and Blonde on consecutive days and Future went No. 1 with two albums released a week apart — but Easter came and went with no follow-up LP.) The collective desire, if not greed, for another full-length LP right after DAMN. captures how much Lamar has electrified the music community. There’s a real yearning for artists of his stature to speak truth to power, especially at a time when the powerful seem to brazenly revel in untruths.

There’s a danger in putting too much weight on any entertainer to serve as a proxy for collective action. Indeed, Lamar’s own fans sometimes feel moved to keep him in check — most recently in response to “HUMBLE.,” in which he rolls out a lazy cliché about wanting women to be less “Photoshop.” But though he can be preachy at times, he doesn’t suggest he’s above reproach. Rather, his songs constantly offer him up as a sacrifice to a vengeful God: never an innocent lamb, always a conflicted sinner. That’s the feeling his work asks us to confront within ourselves. He’s not here to provide relief or distraction. His anxieties and unease around his own foibles are meant to mirror our own — and likewise, his struggles towards salvation and redemption are lead-by-example exhortations for us to do the same work, lest we risk perishing in a damnation of our own making.

via Music : NPR

Gucci’s Pre-Fall 2017 Campaign Channels England’s ’60s Soul Movement

Gucci’s latest campaign references England’s underground Northern Soul movement of the ’60s while highlighting its vibrant and eclectic 2017 pre-fall collection. Shot by frequent Alessandro Michelle collaborator Glen Luchford in the famed Mildmay club, the colorful dancehall serves as the background of Gucci’s dynamic campaign. The shoot is inspired by dandyism and famed Malian artist Malick Sidibé’s portraits of youth culture. Furthermore, the campaign features an all-black cast, which showcases the latest move in Gucci’s push for diversity in fashion.

Also, make sure to check out the memes Gucci made for its latest watch collection.

via Hypebeast

Here’s All the Samples You Might Have Missed on Kendrick Lamar’s ‘DAMN.’

Kendrick Lamar‘s DAMN. hit the web this past Friday with subsequent fan theories blowing up the Internet. Though many believed Kendrick would release another album on Easter Sunday, a new album has not been seen so far. And it comes as no surprise that Kendrick’s DAMN. has been well received, full of featured artists and some of the industry’s best producers and writers. Now thanks to this video complied by Genius, we can check out all the samples from DAMN. that we might have missed including Bruno Mars‘ “24K Magic on “LOYALTY.” along with homage to Ol’ Dirty Bastard, JAY Z and more.

Kendrick Lamar headlined Coachella this past weekend, make sure to check out his performance. Also make sure to check out TDE’s ‘DAMN.’ Merchandise in honor of Kendrick Lamar‘s latest project.

via Hypebeast

NikeLab Drops Two New Colorways of the Free RN Motion Flyknit


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Brand: NikeLab

Model: Free RN Motion Flyknit

Key Features: Sock-like Flyknit upper. Two-way strap system. Free sole unit.

Release Date: Available now.

Price: $150 USD

Availability: Nike

Editor’s Notes: The Swoosh’s Free RN Motion Flyknit has been awarded the NikeLab treatment, here optioned in one colorway for men and one for the ladies. The laceless kicks boast a two-way strap system, featuring an overall lightweight and breathable construction, courtesy of Flyknit. Underneath, Free sole tooling provides comfort and cushioning with each stride.

Earlier today we got a look at Nike’s new pastel “Macaron” Flyknit Racer pack.

Subscribe to Highsnobiety’s sneaker chatbot on Facebook to receive lightning quick updates on release dates, sneaker street style, shopping tips and more.

via Highsnobiety

Sleep Is the New Status Symbol, According to ‘The New York Times’


Sleep may be the cousin of death, but according to The New York Times, it has now turned into a status symbol. Forget money, the more sleep you enjoy, the wealthier — in more ways than one — you appear.

For years, multiple studies have shown how bad sleep not only weakens the immune system, but impairs learning and memory, contributes to depression and other mood and mental disorders, as well as obesity, diabetes, cancer and an early death. When you put it into perspective, it’s quite easy to see just how valuable sleep truly is.

More recently, a number of projects surrounding sleep, from designing headbands to induce sleep, to direct current stimulation as a cure for sleeplessness, are more thoroughly looking into how much we do and don’t need, in addition to ways it has become a status symbol.

The New York Times has in turn dug deeper into the topic, providing insight from respected professionals, which you yourself can subsequently delve into via their website. Read, take notes, and then come back when you’ve gotten a solid night’s rest and let us know what you think.

via Highsnobiety

A ‘Coming to America’ Sequel Is in the Works

Coming to America (1988)
Directed by John Landis
Shown from left: Eddie Murphy (as Prince Akeem), Arsenio Hall (as Semmi)

With the news of Charlie Murphy’s passing still fresh in the minds of many, there is perhaps a signal that the comedy world will continue to be brightened by his family and their impeccable comedic chops after word emerged today that Paramount is in the in process of creating a sequel to Coming to America – a film that cemented Eddie Murphy’s status as a comedy icon.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the studio has hired Barry Blaustein and David Sheffield, who penned the 1988 original, to write the potential sequel.

While there is no indication whether or not Eddie Murphy is involved, the actor’s Twitter account did send out a cryptic tweet in March which hinted at what was confirmed today – although Murphy has denied any knowledge of that Tweet in question.

What’s key is that Paramount is referring to this as a “sequel” and not a “reboot” – indicating an expansion on the exploits of Murphy’s Prince Akeem, Arsenio Hall’s Semmi and John Amos’ Cleo McDowell – instead of casting new actors in the roles they made famous.

Stay tuned for more details as they develop.

via Highsnobiety

Could This Be the Official Release Date for the adidas NMD XR1 Primeknit “OG” Colorway?

Anticipations are high for the release of the adidas NMD XR1 Primeknit in the “OG” colorway. Announced in January of this year and reminiscent of the highly sought after NMD “OG,” this updated iteration as the XR1 model features core black uppers and white soles trimmed with the easily recognizable blue and red plugs. Additionally, the printed heel tabs in white give the pair a clean finish.

As for the release date, Japanese sneaker news site Fullress is reporting that the coveted XR1 OG kicks will drop on May 20. However, it’s still yet to be determined whether that date is a global or a Japan only release. Stay tuned as we get more information, but keep this day on your radar in the meantime for reference.

via Hypebeast

Nike’s Flyknit Racer Returns in Pastel “Macaron” Pack


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Brand: Nike

Model: Flyknit Racer

Key Features: Breathable Flyknit upper. Dynamic Flywire technology that adapts to your foot. Waffle rubber outsole with a diamond pattern delivering durable traction.

Release Date: May 19, 2017

Price: $150 USD

Availability: Nike+, nike.com, SNKRS and at select retailers.

Editor’s Notes: For spring, Nike presents a seasonally-appropriate pack of the Flyknit racer with the “Macaron” delivery. The lightweight low-tops are in turn optioned in pistachio, blueberry, lavender and strawberry-themed colorways.

Earlier this month Nike once again made available the always-coveted “Multicolor” Flyknit Racer.

Subscribe to Highsnobiety’s sneaker chatbot on Facebook to receive lightning quick updates on release dates, sneaker street style, shopping tips and more.

via Highsnobiety

Watch Hans Zimmer’s Epic ‘Inception’ Set at Coachella

It may seem that Coachella is all about the kids, and for good reason, but year in and year out, there are still a number of music industry veterans not only in attendance, but also performing.

Case in point, last night legendary composer and record producer Hans Zimmer took to the Coachella stage to perform a terrifyingly terrific set highlighted by a mashup of his best work from 2010 sci-fi-thriller, Inception.

In short, it was 10 haunting minutes of pure musical excellence.

For more, be sure to check out everything else that went down during the first weekend of Coachella 2017.

via Highsnobiety

‘Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg’ Explores the History of His Work


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Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg accounts for the first serious survey of the famed Japanese artist’s work. Through various essays and illustrations, many of which were previously unpublished, the book traces Murakami‘s career from training, to his current studio practice.

Furthermore, Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg explores the artist’s relationship to the tradition of Japanese painting, as well as his facility in straddling high and low, ancient and modern, Eastern and Western, commercial and high art. Also included are a detailed biography and exhibition history, with contributions from Michael Darling, Michael Dylan Foster, Chelsea Foxwell, Reuben Keehan and Akira Mizuta Lippi.

The hardcover Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg ($65 USD) is set to release May 30, boasting 288 pages and 250 colored photographs.

via Highsnobiety

This Graffiti Duo Scales New York City’s Rooftops Hunting for the Perfect Wall

Characterized by bold outlines, color-blocking and imposing, over-the-top imagery, street artist duo Yok & Sheryo have been painting New York City’s walls for years. Originally from the other side of the planet in Australia and Singapore, they’ve found their home in the NYC graffiti scene — transforming walls, trucks and everything else in their way into stylized works of art with a look that can be attributed to their favorite childhood television cartoons.

Keen to see their process in action, HYPEBEAST met up with Yok & Sheryo in Brooklyn and challenged them to take us to the rooftops and find a spot to paint. The pair spent the afternoon covering a wall with a dragon inspired by their recent travels around the globe. adidas outfitted their escapades in the latest adidas NMDs.

Yok tested out the newest iteration of the NMD XR1 with R2 markings while Sheryo gave the NMD_R1 W a run. Watch the full video above to see the sneakers carry them across Brooklyn’s rooftops, and see their painting process in action. You can pick up the latest colors of the adidas NMD sneaker line at adidas.com.

via Nice Kicks – Air Force Ones, Air Jordans, Release Dates and sneaker news.

Kaws x Air Jordan 4 // Release Information Update

Not long ago, many sneakerheads were impatiently waiting on KAWSONE.com for the release of the Kaws x Air Jordan 4 and corresponding capsule collection. However, hours and even days passed and the shoe never dropped.

Today, good news or some hope comes straight from the source as Kaws is releasing the new drop info thru mailing list sign-ups. We still have no confirmation on exactly how Kaws is planning to release this highly sought after sneaker.

How do you think Kaws should release his Air Jordan 4? Let us know in the comments section and make sure go sign up for the newsletter for your best chance at copping this collab.

via Nice Kicks – Air Force Ones, Air Jordans, Release Dates and sneaker news.