Robinhood, the US trading app popular with millennials, has started talking to investment banks in preparation for an initial public offer early next year.

The online trading platform, which saw its valuation top US$11bn (US$8.2bn) following a new fundraising this summer, has been running a tendering process with Wall Street banks, Bloomberg has reported.

READ: The rise of the millennial investor

A September fundraising saw the California-based company drum up another US$460mln, taking its new cash for the year to US$1.3bn.

At the time Robinhood, which offers commission-fee options, stock and crypto trading, was valued at US$11.7bn, up from US$11.2mln in August and US$8.6bn in July.

The extra cash has flooded in as the company has enjoyed a boom in users on its platform as stock market volatility caused by the coronavirus pandemic drew retail investors to its app, including a new generation of millennial investors.

Trading revenue was reported at US$180 million in the second quarter of 2020, of which US$111mln was from options.

Amid controversy about the suicide of one of its customers, July saw the company scrap its planned UK launch.

Robinhood is also reportedly under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regarding its disclosure policy, specifically the practice where clients’ orders are sold to high-frequency traders.

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