Vlad Tenev

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Vladimir Tenev
TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2016 - Day 2 (26867775421) (2) (cropped).jpg
Born1986/1987 (age 34–35)[1]
NationalityAmerican, Bulgarian
EducationStanford (BA Math)
UCLA (PhD Math) (dropped out)
Known forCo-founder, Robinhood

Vladimir Tenev (Bulgarian: Владимир Тенев; born 1986 or 1987)[1] is a Bulgarian-American billionaire entrepreneur who is the co-founder (with Baiju Bhatt) and CEO of Robinhood, a US-based financial services company.

Early life[edit]

Tenev was born in Bulgaria, and his parents migrated to the U.S. when he was five.[2] His parents both worked for the World Bank.[3] He attended Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology[4] in Fairfax County, Virginia.

He earned a degree in mathematics from Stanford University, where he met Baiju Bhatt.[1] He studied for a mathematics PhD at UCLA, but dropped out to work with Bhatt.[3][5]


In 2010, Tenev and Bhatt started a high-frequency trading company called Celeris. By January 2011 they abandoned it to create Chronos Research, which sold low-latency software to other trading firms and banks.[6]

In 2013, Tenev and Bhatt co-founded the trading platform Robinhood.[1] Following a funding round in May 2018 which increased Robinhood's valuation to $6 billion, Tenev and Bhatt became billionaires.[1][7]

GameStop short squeeze[edit]

On January 28, 2021, Tenev defended Robinhood's decision to prevent users from buying stock or options in a variety of securities, notably GameStop, during the GameStop short squeeze;[8][9][10][11] the decision had sparked widespread criticism from users of the app as well as politicians in both major American parties.[12] On February 18, 2021, Tenev testified before the United States House Committee on Financial Services regarding Robinhood's role during the GameStop short squeeze.[13][14] Tenev came under heavy criticism from members of both parties and was criticized for struggling to provide answers to a number of questions.[15][16][17]

In its July 1, 2021 S-1 filing with the SEC, Robinhood disclosed that the US Attorney's Office had executed a search warrant for Tenev's cell phone as part of a probe into the GameStop short squeeze.[18][19][20]


Year Awards Category Result Ref.
2016 Forbes 30 Under 30 Young Traders Won [21]

Other awards[edit]

He was invited to be the keynote speaker at UCLA's 2019 Math Commencement Ceremony.[22]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Robinhood Founders Are Billionaires in Silicon Valley Minute". Retrieved 23 July 2018.
  2. ^ "The founders of Robinhood, a no-fee stock-trading app, were initially rejected by 75 venture capitalists — now their startup is worth $1.3 billion". Retrieved 23 July 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Vlad Tenev, 28". Forbes. Retrieved 23 July 2018.
  4. ^ Thomas Jefferson HS. "Thomas Jefferson HS". Twitter.
  5. ^ Ongchoco, David (12 August 2015). "Startup Insider: The Story Behind Stock Trading App Robinhood and Its One Million-Person Waitlist". Retrieved 23 July 2018.
  6. ^ "Win the Stock Market with Crowd Sourced Advice from New App Robinhood".
  7. ^ "Meet the 11 new tech billionaires that emerged in 2018". Retrieved 23 July 2018.
  8. ^ Reuters Staff (2021-01-29). "Robinhood CEO says limited trade to protect firm and customers". Reuters. Retrieved 2021-01-29.
  9. ^ "Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev speaks out on decision to restrict trading on GameStop and other stocks". CNBC. 2021-01-29. Retrieved 2021-01-29.
  10. ^ "Robinhood CEO Says Trading Limits Will Protect Firm, Customers". Bloomberg.com. 2021-01-29. Retrieved 2021-01-29.
  11. ^ Robinhood CEO speaks on controversy after GameStop stock chaos - CNN Video, retrieved 2021-01-29
  12. ^ "Robinhood founder Vlad Tenev says app blocked GameStop buys to "protect investors"". Newsweek. 2021-01-28. Retrieved 2021-01-29.
  13. ^ Popper, Nathaniel. "Grilled in the hearing, Robinhood's chief apologizes for limiting GameStop trades". The New York Times. Retrieved February 18, 2021.
  14. ^ Collins, Eliza (February 18, 2021). "Who Are Keith Gill and Other Key Players at the GameStop Hearing?". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved February 18, 2021.
  15. ^ Popper, Nathaniel; Phillips, Matt (2021-02-18). "In GameStop Saga, Robinhood Is Cast as the Villain". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-02-19.
  16. ^ "Under fire, Robinhood CEO apologizes to Congress for restricting trading". NBC News. Retrieved 2021-02-19.
  17. ^ Sorkin, Andrew Ross; Karaian, Jason; Merced, Michael J. de la; Hirsch, Lauren; Livni, Ephrat (2021-02-19). "'Something Very Wrong Happened Here'". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-02-19.
  18. ^ Kay, Grace. "Robinhood's IPO filing reveals the US Attorney's Office executed a search warrant for CEO Vlad Tenev's cell phone". Business Insider. Retrieved 2021-07-05.
  19. ^ Sigalos, MacKenzie (2021-07-01). "Feds seized Robinhood CEO's phone as part of GameStop trading probe". CNBC. Retrieved 2021-07-05.
  20. ^ Westbrook, Jesse (July 1, 2021). "Robinhood Says U.S. Demanded Access to CEO Tenev's Phone Records". Bloomberg.
  21. ^ Vardi, Nathan. "30 Under 30 Finance: The Top Young Traders, Bankers And Dealmakers". Forbes. Retrieved 2021-07-12.
  22. ^ "2019 Math Commencement Keynote Speaker: Vladimir Tenev". UCLA. Retrieved 7 April 2020.

External links[edit]