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The FCA-regulated FinTech unicorn TransferWise prepared for a blockbuster IPO and appointed the two Wall Street giants Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley as joint coordinators, Sky News reported last week. The surprising thing here is the decision in favor of a listing in London and against New York. This is certainly an important milestone for London to remain Europe’s most important financial center after Brexit. The valuation for the IPO is expected to exceed $5 billion. And hey, they are profitable!
Founded by Estonians Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Kaarmann, the London-headquartered firm has made itself the #1 U.K. FinTech. In July, a share transaction boosted Transferwise’s valuation to $5 billion and allowed employees and its original investors to sell shares. So far, the company said it had attracted more than $1 billion in primary and secondary share sale transactions.
Backed by IVP, a Silicon Valley fund that supported Twitter, Valar Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz, and other prominent techs, TransferWise also counts investors Richard Branson, Peter Thiel, and others among its backers. D1 Capital Partners, in July 2020, acquired a $200 million stake from other TransferWise investors.
The company posted year-end profits in March 2020 that more than doubled to £21.3M. Revenue exploded 70 percent to £302.6M, with monthly cross-border transaction volume averaging £4.5B with more than 9 million customers. It has also issued a total of more than one million debit cards. It is planning to increase its 2,200 staffers by more than a third, adding 750 jobs over the next six months.