Wise debuts on the London Stock Exchange, at a valuation of over $11bn

Wise announced its entire share capital of 994 million shares to have been admitted to the standard listing segment of the London Stock Exchange in a much-anticipated debut. 

Wise shares began trading at £8 a share, which would give the financial technology company a market capitalisation of £8bn ($11bn), Refinitiv prices showed.

Wise has also introduced a program called OwnWise that lets users own a stake in the company. Customers participating in the scheme would be entitled to receive bonus shares worth up to a maximum of £100 after 12 months.

The cross-border payments unicorn, launched a direct listing on the London Stock Exchange last month, which allows for a listing without a public offering of shares – a rare listing method pioneered by Spotify in the US three years ago. Rather than raising money in an IPO, Wise’s private backers are selling their existing shares to the public. Several tech companies such as Trustpilot and Moonpig have already listed in London this year and helped push IPOs to a record high.

In addition to this, the Wise deal is seen as a crucial test for Britain’s future as a fintech hub in the wake of Brexit.

Wise, which began life as Transferwise, was valued at approx £5bn in April. Founded in 2010 by Estonian friends Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Käärmann, the firm aimed to reduce the high fees when sending money between the UK and other countries. Currently, Wise claims to have over 10 million customers who use its service to send £5bn ($7bn) across borders each month. In its 2021 fiscal year, the company doubled profits to £30.9m ($42.7m) while revenues climbed 39% to £421m.

It competes with wire transfer incumbents like Western Union and MoneyGram, as well as fintech upstarts such as Revolut and WorldRemit.

Wise’s debut is a big win for the UK, which is vying to attract more large tech companies to its stock market with reforms to London’s listing rules. At the same time, as the first direct listing of a tech company in London, it’s also a risky gamble. Food delivery firm Deliveroo plunged as much as 30% on the first day of trading, in part due to governance concerns around its dual-class stock structure.

Copyright © 2021 FinTech Global

Enjoying the stories?

Subscribe to our daily FinTech newsletter and get the latest industry news & research


The following investor(s) were tagged in this article.