Vlad Tenev is a Bulgarian American entrepreneur, who became a billionaire with the launch of his app Robinhood. It is one of the biggest trading apps, having more than 3 million user accounts.

Now let’s talk about 15 things you did not know about Vlad Tenev.

1.He grew up in the states

Vlad was born in Communist Bulgaria.  His father was a professor of economics and moved to US to study when he was four. Six months later his mother also moved to US. So he stayed with his grandparents for some time. He moved to US the next year when he was five years old.

2.Alumnus of Standford

Vlad did his bachelors in Mathematics at Standford University. He was studying for mathematics PhD at UCLA when he dropped out to work with his friend Baiju Bhatt.


    3.Financial background

    Both his parents worked for the World Bank for over 25 years and were risk averse and pushed him to enter the financial industry. While growing up he had finance on his mind and he never thought of becoming an entrepreneur because of his parent’s profession.

     4.His first job

    When Vlad was in elementary school, he and his friend put up a stand selling household tools in the neighbourhood. As schools do not teach selling techniques, he learnt a lot that day.

    5,Spending time with his daughter is important to him

    Vlad is married to Celina and has a daughter. He likes to spend time with his daughter and tries to be home before her night bath and he goes back to office after that to finish his work. He lives in San Francisco Bay Area.

    6.First venture

    Vlad met Bhaiju Bhatt while he was studying in Stanford College. They became friends and together they started their first venture.they moved to New York and opened a small trading firm ‘Chronos Research’. They offered tools for hedge funds and banks to build automated trading strategies.

    7.Motivation to start Robinhood

    After his first venture with his partner they observed Wall Street movements closely and saw the income inequality and witnessed the Occupy Wall Street protests of 2011. This was when they decided to start a platform which would let users trade for free. Their users saved more than $ 1 billion in commissions.

    8.Faced rejections

    Vlad and Bhaiju, the founders of Robinhood were rejected by 75 venture capitalists, but they did not give up and now their start up
    |is worth $1.3 billion. Vlad’s says that if they had listened to all those people they would not have been where they are today.


    Vlad along with his Stanford roommate Baiju Bhatt launched their tech startup, Robinhood in 2014. With the country’s growing discontent and suspicion of the large financial institutions, the startup came as Silicon Valley’s solution to this issue. Robinhood was an app that made trading affordable and accessible, which was a positive factor for its users most of whom were millennials in their mid-20s. They have reached millions of users across the country since their launch.

    Vlad is responsible for oversseing the company’s engineering and business development teams.

    10.On Hacker news before the press launch

    Vlad was surprised to see that they were no 3 on hacker news as: ”Robinhood: Free Stock Trading”  and within 20 minutes they went from being no 3 to no 2 and finally no1, even before they made a press launch of the wait list of Robinhood.  Vlad said that to be on hacker news is every engineer’s dream in Silicon Valley. This was even before the app was available for download. The app was launched one and half year after the announcement.

    11.Speaker at 2019 Math Commencement

    UCLA Math alumnus Vladimir was a keynote speaker at the Math Commencement 2019. He gave the commencement keynote address to 400 graduates, their families and friends. His speech inspired students to follow their passion and follow their heart even if it meant leaving a familiar path and trying something new.


    Vlad has been nominated for a Techy from TechCrunch for the best startup and best app.

    He has been recognised on the:

    • Forbes 30 under 30
    • Fortune 40 under 40
    • Inc under 30 under 30

    13.Vlad’s inspiration

    Vlad’s says that he admires his partner Baiju, his strong product intuition and his ability to drive the team to build products which are loved by the customers.

    Great entrepreneurs, scientists and creative builders who got a change in the world thtough grit and determination are his inspiration.

    14.Became billionaire

    Vlad became a billionaire after his company The Robinhood Markets Inc. in 2018 after a funding round for the electronic stock brokerage hiked its valuation to around $6 billion from $1.3 billion in 2017. He owns $ 1 billion on paper.

    15.Robin hood gold

    Robinhood launched its first subscription product named Robinhood Gold. It is a special paid membership which allows users to buy and sell stocks on margin (i.e. Borrow money to buy stocks) with Robinhood Gold your buying power is doubled to make money in the stock market.