In this photo illustration, the TransferWise logo is seen displayed on an Android mobile phone.

Omar Marques | SOPA Images | LightRocket | Getty Images

LONDON — British financial technology firm Wise said Thursday it expects to go public on the London Stock Exchange through a direct listing.

Wise, which was formerly known as TransferWise, said it was seeking a direct listing rather than an initial public offering as it doesn’t need to raise any fresh capital. Direct listings allow companies to go public without involving underwriters or issuing new shares.

Founded in 2010, Wise says it has 10 million customers who use its money transfer service to send £5 billion ($7 billion) each month. The company competes with incumbents including Western Union and MoneyGram, as well as upstarts like Revolut and WorldRemit.

News of the stock market listing marks a big win for Britain, which is hoping to lure more large tech firms to list in London rather than New York. The government is considering proposals to relax London’s listing rules making it easier to issue dual class shares, which give founders and early backers more control, on the main market.

Wise is opting for a dual class share structure. The firm said it intends to issue two classes of shares, class A and class B, with the latter entitling holders to nine votes per share. The class B shares would expire on the fifth year of Wise’s listing.

Wise said it would also introduce a customer shareholder program called OwnWise, which would let users own a stake in the company.

“Wise is used to challenging convention, and this listing is no exception,” said Kristo Kaarmann, CEO and co-founder of Wise.

“We’re ten years into building a new way to move money around the world — faster, cheaper, easier and completely transparent. A direct listing allows us a cheaper and more transparent way to broaden Wise’s ownership, aligned with our mission.”

The company, which has been profitable since 2017, said it made a £30.9 million profit on revenues of £421 million in its 2021 fiscal year.


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