Vladimir Tenev is the co-founder and CEO of Robinhood, a free brokerage service offering access to the financial systems and security exchanges. Vladimir Tenev co-founded Robinhood with Baiju Bhatt.
Vladimir Tenev attended the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Fairfax County, Virginia.
In 2004, Tenev attended Stanford where he studied started studying physics and switched to studying mathematics. While at Stanford, Vladimir Tenev was the roommate of Baiju Bhatt. Tenev completed his Bachelor's Degree in mathematics from Stanford University.
Vladimir Tenev attended University of California, Los Angeles to study mathematics for his PhD. While there, he worked as a graduate assistant in the UCLA's mathematics department. He earned his Master's Degree in mathematics at UCLA, but dropped out of the PhD program to build trading software for hedge funds and banks with his former roommate and friend Baiju Bhatt.
After studying and teaching at UCLA, Vladimir Tenev joined Baiju Bhatt to start a company, after Baiju Bhatt had worked at a small trading firm in Marin County, California. The company the two started, Celeris, was a high-frequency trading company.
Following the closure of Celeris, Baiju Bhatt and Vladimir Tenev founded their second company, Chronos Research, which developed and sold low-latency algorithmic trading technology for the backend of hedge funds and banks to run automated trades. The software enabled traders to make millions of trades per day.
After Vladimir Tenev and Baiju Bhatt's experience with Chronos Research and Celeris, the duo founded the Robinhood trading application in 2013. The founding of the zero commission trading application came at a time when the ideas and technologies of financial technology were increasing in popularity and demand. On founding Robinhood, Vladimir Tenev said the idea came from:
People in our age group were disillusioned with the state of the financial markets. We realized that there's a need for a new brand in the space, that for a long time the financial industry was known for a lot of things that are anti-consumer, a lot of hidden fees, unnecessary middle-manning, building out these very complex products that in many cases serve only to mask that end customers are being charged for things they don't really understand.
In 2018, following a May funding round which increased Robinhood's valuation to $6 billion, both Vladimir Tenev and Baiju Bhatt became billionaires.
Vladimir Tenev and Baiju Bhatt shared the CEO role from the founding of the company until November 2020, when the increased size of the company led Vladimir Tenev and Baiju Bhatt to decide the company needed a single leader. At this point Vladimir Tenev became the sole CEO of Robinhood, and Baiju Bhatt moved to serve on Robinhood's board of directors where he can continue to support Vladimir Tenev and the company.
Since 2018, Vladimir Tenev has been investing.