Quantopian shuts its doors, co-founders join Robinhood
Quantopian, a crowd-sourced fintech platform, is shutting its doors as its co-founders announce they will join retail trading platform Robinhood.
The Quantopian community — in which amateur investors could create investment algorithms that could be licensed for use in Quantopian’s fund — will shut down on Saturday, November 14, the company announced. Users are being encouraged to go into the platform and download any of their algorithms before that date.
At the same time, Quantopian co-founders John Fawcett and Jean Bredeche announced that they would join Robinhood’s product and engineering teams later this month, along with the majority of the Quantopian’s headcount. It was unclear whether Robinhood has purchased the platform or any further terms of the arrangement.
The two firms have had a relationship for several years — in 2015, Quantopian was the first firm to offer Robinhood’s brokerage services and the two companies share some financial backers like Andreessen Horowitz.
Despite raising funding from funds like Andreessen, Bessemer Venture Partners and Point72 Ventures, Quantopian has had a rough time proving that crowd-sourced algorithm development could lead to returns. In February, it shut down its market-neutral investment strategy, announcing that it would return investors’ money after the fund underperformed. The fund used promising algorithms that were designed by its users, giving creators a cut of any returns generated.
Inconsistent performance has proved to be a theme across crowd-sourced investing platforms — in January, competitor WorldQuant laid off 130 employees and closed five of its offices.
Quantopian has made many changes to its operating model since it was founded in 2012, including allowing institutional managers to crowd-source investment ideas by offering competitions to its user base.
Photo by Mitchell Griest on Unsplash