Financial technology business Wise is planning to go public in London with a valuation that could reach as high as £7bn, in a further boost to the capital’s tech ambitions.
The company, which started as an international money transfer business, is plotting a direct listing that could take place as soon as June, the Financial Times first reported.
Sources say the business is likely to highlight its profitability since 2017 as a key advantage it has over Deliveroo, whose debut last month was one of the City’s worst on record after its share price slumped more than 25pc to wipe more than £2bn off its valuation.
Wise, which rebranded from TransferWise earlier this year as it attempts to highlight its other services including its multi-currency accounts, has reportedly been speaking to regulators including the Financial Conduct Authority over its plans.
Going public using a direct listing rather than a traditional initial public offering means Wise will list on the London Stock Exchange without any shares being held back for institutional investors.
The direct listing approach has gained favour among technology giants in recent years. Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase went public with a direct listing earlier this week that valued it at $100bn (£73bn).
Wise has raised more than more than $1.1bn from prominent investors including Facebook and Skype backer Andreessen Horowitz and Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures fund.
Its valuation rose to $5bn last year, making it one of Europe’s most valuable financial technology companies alongside Revolut, Checkout and Klarna. Investors reportedly hope for that valuation to have doubled ahead of the planned float.
Chief executive Kristo Käärmann told The Telegraph last year that Wise shifted focus to reaching profitability before the company hit breakeven in 2017, a process that many challenger banks are only now beginning to go through.
“Almost every action that you do on TransferWise is sustainable and maybe even slightly profitable,” Mr Käärmann said. “We’ve now seen that this was a really smart move. Now many other products are looking for their business model. It’s much harder if it’s not built into the fabric of who we are.”