Robinhood lays off 82 employees in Charlotte office closure

Stock trading app company Robinhood will permanently lay off approximately 82 employees in Charlotte, according to a notice filed with the NC Department of Commerce on Wednesday.

The layoffs will begin Oct. 1.

The fintech confirmed to The Charlotte Observer on Wednesday that it would shut down its Charlotte office, an expansion it announced just last year.

The office is closing as part of restructuring at Robinhood, company spokesman Casey Becker said, following a new round of companywide layoffs.

Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev announced the companywide layoffs in a Tuesday blog post. High inflation and a recent cryptocurrency crash forced the layoffs at the online trading platform company, Tenev wrote.

The company is cutting about 23% of all its jobs, Tenev wrote. Based on previously reported employment numbers, that’s about 795 workers.

Employees in Charlotte who remain with Robinhood “will begin working under our work-from-anywhere model,” Becker said.

The S. Tryon Street office served as a customer support and account operations center.

Robinhood previously told the Observer the Charlotte location would have at least 150 employees by the end of last year.

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Robinhood is laying off dozens of employees in Charlotte as it closes its office here. Patrick Sison AP

A ‘tech town flag’

When the Robinhood expansion was announced, city officials lauded it as a win for Charlotte’s budding fintech scene.

At the time, assistant economic development director Fran West said the expansion would help the city “plant that tech town flag.”

Robinhood initially planned to bring nearly 400 jobs to the city and invest $ 11.7 million in the new location, the Observer reported in March 2021. At the time, the company was on track to receive up to $ 3.7 million in city and state incentives.

The first signs of trouble came this spring, when a Robinhood confirmed that an April round of company layoffs had impacted a “small number” of employees locally.

But the company said it had no plans to close up shop.

“Robinhood is still very committed to maintaining a presence in Charlotte,” a company spokeswoman said at the time.

Another fintech job cut

Robinhood isn’t the only fintech firm to dial back a major Charlotte expansion.

Online mortgage lender Better.com also laid off local employees in multiple rounds of companywide job cuts in the past year, the Charlotte Business Journal reported. In 2019, the company said it planned to hire 1,000 people for its new office here.

Demi Clark, who led Better’s Charlotte office and was also laid off, told the CBJ that she guessed about 200 local employees were affected in just the first round of cuts.

This story was originally published August 4, 2022 12:06 PM.

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Hannah Lang covers banking and economic equity for The Charlotte Observer. She studied business journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and grew up in the same town as her alma mater.

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