TransferWise is preparing to hire bankers to bring one of the UK’s most prestigious tech companies to the public, learns Sky News

City Editor
@ MarkKleinmanSky

TransferWise has started working out secret plans for a blockbuster IPO that would cement its status as one of the most valuable tech companies ever to be created in the UK

Sky News can exclusively reveal that TransferWise, which has become an international payments giant less than a decade after it was founded, has asked investment banks to apply for roles in an upcoming IPO in the New Year

The key details of the company’s likely debut in the public markets are not yet clear, although London is considered the preferred listing destination of its founders Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Kaarmann

News of the impending appointment of bankers will again spark overtures from US exchanges seeking to attract one of the world’s fastest growing fintech unicorns

A Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) is likely an option for TransferWise as well, as such vehicles raised tens of billions of dollars this year to bring fast-growing tech companies public

TransferWise was worth 5 billion USD (3 GBP) valued 7 billion) on a secondary fundraiser just five months ago, and an IPO is unlikely to happen well into 2021

Insiders said the valuation would likely be higher than July, even before new funds from the sale of new equity are included

After its fall debut, it could keep up with the float from THG Holdings – the owner of online beauty retailer The Hut Group

The London Stock Exchange and Downing Street are eager to convince the founders of TransferWise to list in the UK

On Friday, Boris Johnson held a meeting with the heads of some of Britain’s most respected tech companies – including Deliveroo, Oxford Nanopore and Revolut – as part of a magic offensive to sell the city’s credentials to the sector

Some of those who have joined the call, like Darktrace, Deliveroo, and Trustpilot, have already hired bankers to prepare for going public

TransferWise is recognized as a particularly important company to convince itself of going public in London due to its rapid international growth and track record of innovation in key areas of financial services

The company employs well over 2000 people with more than 9 million customers and £ 4.5 billion monthly cross-border transaction volume

In July, D1 Capital Partners, which has placed substantial bets on some of the world’s largest technology companies, bought a $ 200 million stake USD from other TransferWise investors

This deal came about as a result of TransferWise’s transfer of a license from the Financial Conduct Authority to offer investment products The aim is to achieve a more attractive return on the customers’ cash balances

However, there are no plans to become a full-fledged bank that would rival Monzo, Revolut or Starling in the UK

Mr. Hinrikus and Mr. Kaarmann, who were born in Estonia, started the company amid frustration at the cost of sending money overseas

An IPO would turn them both into paper billionaires if estimates of the size of their holdings in TransferWise – which are believed to own approximately 40% between them – are correct

While they have been open that an IPO is a natural long-term option for the company, they have made it clear that there was no pressure on them to accelerate their plans

In a blog post in 2017, Mr. Hinrikus – the first employee of Skype – wrote: “In a few years, it will be time to think seriously about becoming a public company, like the strongest and most trustworthy financial institutions

“But if we do, we’ll examine it through our own lens – how will it help our customers? How will it help us achieve our mission faster?”

The surge in tech flotations, particularly in the US, is believed to have convinced the founders and some of their shareholders that it is an optimal time to go public

Long-time TransferWise shareholders include Sir Richard Branson and IVP, a Silicon Valley fund that supports Snapchat parent company Snap and Twitter

The company became a “unicorn” in 2015 – a technology start-up worth at least 1 billion USD – and is more valuable than other UK fintech champions like digital bank Oaknorth, which has raised hundreds of millions of pounds from SoftBank’s Vision Fund

TransferWise has launched a number of products in the past few years, including a limitless account that allows people to move money between dozens of currencies

It has successfully sparked a raging international interest in the global payments industry as new technologies lower costs and improve speed and efficiency for customers

Overall it is claimed that customers have 1 billion Saved GBP compared to doing the same transactions with her bank

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Weltnachrichten – GB – TransferWise commissions banks for blockbuster float