Wise to go public via direct listing

London-based money transfer fintech Wise has announced it is planning to go public via a direct listing on the London Stock Exchange. 

As part of its listing, Wise, which changed its name from TransferWise in February this year, said it would roll out a customer shareholder programme, dubbed OwnWise, it said in a 17 June announcement. 

The firm said the direct listing option “is a fairer, cheaper and more transparent way for Wise to broaden its ownership, in support of its mission to move money around the world faster, cheaper and more conveniently”.

The programme opens for pre-applications from UK customers today and will be limited to 100,000 in its first year. Existing investors and employees who hold options and shares will be offered time-limited enhanced voting shares, the statement added. 

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“Bringing in the people we serve as owners of Wise is something I’ve long wanted to do. Recently, we welcomed our first customer owners by gifting shares to a group of 1,800 active customers,” Chief executive Kristo Kärmann said in the statement. 

“Because of the long-term nature of our mission, we’ve always chosen shareholders with an understanding of, and passion for, the problem we’re solving.”

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The 10-year-old fintech, one of the UK’s early fintech success stories, also published its results for the financial year of 2021, reporting having moved £54.4bn across borders for six million active customers. It posted revenues of £421m and profit of £30.9m, doubling from £15m the year before.

Although the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic “will remain difficult to predict”, Wise said it expected revenue to grow in the “low to mid-twenties on a percentage basis” in the next financial year.

To contact the author of this story with feedback or news, email Bérengère Sim

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