Fancy a Flutter

Plus: Sequoia, Third Point, Robinhood

This newsletter looks at financial sector themes. But nothing exists in isolation. Sometimes I look at sectors that sit in close proximity, like I did last week with expert networks, whose customers are principally financial institutions. This week I’m venturing outside the box again, this time to look at the betting industry.

There is plenty of overlap between betting companies and financial companies. We’ve talked before about the spectrum that spans gambling (which bookmakers serve), speculation (which contracts-for-difference brokers serve) and investing (which stockbrokers serve).1 Where Robinhood sits on this spectrum is key to understanding its business model.

In addition, there’s a lot of overlap between the characters involved in each of these categories. Many entrepreneurs that cut their teeth in betting are now active investors in financial technology, including Ed Wray and Tim Levene, both ex-Betfair.

Similarly, many successful investors were inspired by betting markets. Stuar…

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