By John Smith • 08 July 2021 • 17:38
Jumping for Joy
Credit: Wise Twitter
IT was a big day for their founders as Wise money transfer group now worth £8 billion after launch in London.
The British Financial Institutions are looking for ways of attracting money back to London and on Wednesday July 7, the London Stock Exchange (LSE) saw a historic first.
Following a practice which is not unknown in the USA, a Fintech company simply called Wise became the first ever direct listing of a tech company on the LSE.
The founders of the company, two Estonians took the company public using a direct listing, which does not involve raising new capital or bringing in new investors like in a formal IPO launch.
Many investors remember the recent relative failure of the traditional IPO launch of Deliveroo which due to its structure did not attract investment by large institutions.
This was effectively a three-hour long auction which saw prices start at £1 and shoot up to £10 for shares priced at £8 and this raised a staggering £8 billion (€8.8 billion).
According to Kristo Kaarmann and Taavet Hinrikus who founded the company in 2010 when they were both working in London, Taavet was being paid in euros and Kristo in sterling but both hated the thought of paying exchange commission to banks so created their own exchange and transfer company with low customer charges.
Now they have grown but still argue that banks cream of around €150 billion a year from hidden charges in exchange rates and when transferring money abroad.
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Jumping for Joy
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Married to Ophelia in Gibraltar in 1978, John has spent much of his life travelling on security print and minting business and visited every continent except Antarctica.
Having retired several years ago, the couple moved to their house in Estepona and John became a regular news writer for the EWN Media Group taking particular interest in Finance, Gibraltar and Costa del Sol Social Scene.
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