TransferWise Appoints Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley For London IPO


British payments group TransferWise will file its anticipated initial public offering (IPO) with joint coordinators Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, two of the biggest U.S. banks, Sky News reported on Thursday (Jan. 21).

TransferWise is expected to blow past last year’s valuation of $5 billion by the time it files in London. The IPO will make the unicorn startup among the most valuable tech companies in the U.K.

Backed by IVP, a Silicon Valley fund that supported Twitter and Snapchat’s parent company, the startup also counts investors Richard Branson, Peter Thiel and others among its backers. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak reportedly asked the company about its IPO plans. 

The company posted year-end profits in March 2020 that more than doubled to 21.3 million pounds, Sky News reported. Revenue escalated 70 percent to 302.6 million pounds, with monthly cross-border transaction volume averaging 4 billion pounds. The startup is also planning to up its 2,200 staffers by more than a third, adding 750 jobs over the next six months.

With more than 5 million customers, Transferwise has diversified to become a formidable FinTech competitor, per Skynews. Founded by Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Kaarmann, the London-headquartered firm has made inroads as an international payments giant less than a decade after it was launched. 

D1 Capital Partners in July acquired a $200 million stake from other TransferWise investors. Other Transferwise shareholders include Silicon Valley funds Valar Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz.

A second share sale in July boosted Transferwise’s valuation to $5 billion and gave employees and its original investors the opportunity to sell shares. The company said it has attracted more than $1 billion in primary and secondary share sale transactions. 

In a PYMNTS interview, Nicholas Lembo, head of Americas growth for TransferWise, said today’s digital environment should lead to rapid-fire payments. He pointed out that banks and other financial institutions can take advantage of new technologies to safely streamline transactions.