Robinhood Gets Formidable Competition; Players With Uber Roots Launch No-fee Platform

Players with Uber roots launch a no-fee crypto trading platform called Voyager.

Robinhood had enjoyed being the only crypto outfit to offer commission-free trading, but now it’s getting some company. The co-founder of Uber, Oscar Salazar, is one of the players behind the launch of Voyager, which will also offer no-fee trades, reports Fortune.

Steve Ehrlich is co-founder and CEO of the startup, while Salazar, who had also been the founding architect and chief technology officer at Uber, is the main tech advisor. Also on board is Philip Eytan, another early Uber investor, as board chairman. Gaspard de Dreuzy is the chief product officer.

The fact that members of this group who contributed to Uber’s unicorn status have set their sights on crypto trading is intriguing to say the least. In an interview with Fortune, Ehrlich said:

“We saw an opportunity to build a dynamic smart order router that can take advantage of the marketplace and also offer customers no commissions.”

It seems that investors are confident that these players will be formidable ones in the crypto trading arena. Ehrlich told Fortune that Voyager had so far raised ”significant capital” from only friends and family.

In lieu of trading fees, Voyager will make up the difference in revenue “by beating the average price of the coins at the point in time we execute the trade,” according to Fortune.

Healthy competition

For most of the year, Robinhood has been an industry darling because of its commission-free trading platform. It gained quickly in popularity. Earlier this year, it boasted about its user base reaching four million. It also stated that its transaction volume on its brokerage platform had reached more than $100 billion. That resulted in more than $1 billion in commissions saved in equity trades.

Robinhood gained so much in popularity that people in many states have taken to social media to beg the company to begin offering its platform in their states.

That limited availability is one of Robinhood’s shortcomings. It decided to roll out its platform gradually, making it available in only a few states at first. Those states include California, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, and New Hampshire. Another shortcoming is the number of cryptos it allows users to trade. There are only five.

Voyager may be able to fill this void. For example, it will allow for 16 cryptos to be traded, according to Fortune.

Voyager will enter beta testing later this week, with the goal being to release the platform to the public by the end of October, according to Fortune. In addition to the no-fee platform, Voyager will offer crypto news and analysis features in its mobile app to help regular investors make buying and selling decisions, Fortune reports.