Wise formalises its London stock market plans

24 Jun 2021

Kristo Käärmann. Image: Wise

The fintech company filed its intention to float on the London Stock Exchange and is tipped to be valued at up to $7bn.

Fintech giant Wise has made its plans to go public official with a direct listing in London.

The company, formerly known as TransferWise, filed its intention today (24 June) to float through a direct listing with the London Stock Exchange in what will be one of Europe’s most-watched listings this year.

Wise began as a cross-border payments service and has gradually expanded its remit to debit cards and accounts. Sources told Reuters that the company is tipped to be valued at between $6bn and $7bn when it floats.

The company intends to offer shares to its customers during the listing.

“Since announcing our expected intention to float last week, we’ve had over 60,000 expressions of interest in our customer shareholder programme, OwnWise, which is designed to reward customers who buy Wise shares and stick with us for the longer-term,” chief executive Kristo Käärmann said.

“This direct listing is about further aligning our mission and our shareholder base and I’m enormously proud that customers want to be a part of that.”

Wise’s float will be keenly watched after Deliveroo’s underwhelming stock market debut in March, which hit the image of the London Stock Exchange as a location for tech stocks.

Since then, cybersecurity firm Darktrace has gone public and fared much better as London touts itself as a post-Brexit destination for tech IPOs and direct listings in Europe.

For Wise, its fortunes could be better. The company is profitable and its accounts for the year ended March 2020 showed revenue of £302.6m with profit after tax of £21.3m. It has more than 7m customers.

In May, it secured £160m in funding from Silicon Valley Bank ahead of its stock market plans.

The direct listing is planned for early July.

Jonathan Keane is a freelance business and technology journalist based in Dublin