Robinhood Financial raised new funding at a valuation of about US$11.2 billion, as Dan Sundheim’s D1 Capital Partners poured US$200 million into the online trading company.

The seven-year-old firm was most recently valued at US$8.6 billion during its July funding round, before it posted record trading figures for June. It revealed daily average revenue trades of 4.31 million for the month, greater than any of its publicly traded rivals. The latest investment and valuation were announced by Robinhood in a blog post on its website.

Robinhood’s surge during the COVID-19 pandemic has garnered both fascination and criticism from Wall Street, with concerns persisting that the platform attracts many young users who many not understand the risks of stock wagers. D1’s new investment marks a vote of confidence from a prominent hedge fund investor.

Sundheim was chief investment officer at Viking Global Investors before striking out on his own and opening D1 to outside investors in 2018. It was one of the largest hedge fund launches of that year, and he was among an early crop of investors to invest in both publicly traded and privately held stocks.

Robinhood recently blocked access to information about the individual stock trades that users were flocking to. It was a widely watched metric among investors such as hedge funds, which tracked the trades to understand where an ever-wider array of retail investors were heading.

“We believe investing at its core is a democratic concept,” according to the blog post. “With our latest round of funding, we’ll continue empowering people in their financial lives and enabling a more democratic financial system.”

The platform has been seeking to attract users to its other offerings, such as Robinhood Snacks, its newsletter and podcast -- which now has almost 2 million active monthly listeners, according to a blog post.