Business Finance Tech

TransferWise, Valued at $5 Billion, Rebrands to Wise Ahead of IPO

By Adriaan Brits Monday, February 22, 2021

Person holding a TransferWise debit card package.

The UK-based fintech company TransferWise is rebranding ahead of its expected initial public offering (IPO).

Business Valuation of $5 Billion

TransferWise, which has a business valuation of $5 billion, was founded in 2011 as a startup to process online money transfers. However, over the last decade, the fintech company has grown beyond business-to-consumer, or B2C, international money transfers service to become a cross-border payments network.

The business, which has rebranded into “Wise,” has made significant progress over the past ten years and now handles £4.5 billion ($6.31 billion) in cross-border transactions on a monthly basis, and claims it helps clients save around £1 billion ($1.40 billion) a year in reduced fees compared to payments services used in traditional banks.

The London-based fintech business has recently rolled out a new line of consumer and business products similar to a multi-currency bank account, as well as its own debit card, ahead of the expected IPO.

“Today our name catches up with who we’re already building for – a community of people and businesses with multi-currency lives. That community now even includes the banks themselves. We’ve evolved to fix more than just money transfer, but the core experience of using Wise will remain faster, cheaper, and more convenient than anything else. Our mission remains the same. We’re still making — and always will be making — money work without borders,” said Kristo Käärmann, chief executive and co-founder of the company, in a statement.

Wise has also confirmed that it has reached a business valuation of $5 billion, marking a 43% increase in growth since May 2019 after the fintech company had raised $292 million at a business valuation of $3.5 billion. The second round was led by a new investor D1 Capital Partners and the existing shareholder Lone Pine Capital.

Other participants in the new round included existing shareholders and employees, who were allowed to offload a part of their shares in the fintech business to other new and existing investors. Vulcan Capital was another new investor, while Baillie Gifford, Fidelity Investments, and LocalGlobe added to their previous holdings.

The fintech company has recently obtained new regulatory approval to launch a product that will offer savings and investment options in Britain through the company’s borderless account. The new product is expected to launch “in the next 12 months.”

“We’ve been funded exclusively by our customers for the last few years and we didn’t need to raise external funding for the company. This secondary round provides an opportunity for new investors to come in, alongside rewarding the investors and employees who’ve helped us succeed so far,” Käärmann adds.

Wise is expected to conduct an IPO in 2021.

Summary

The London-based cross-border fintech company TransferWise is rebranding to “Wise” ahead of an expected IPO this year.

About the Author


Headshot of Adriaan Brits

An analyst of global affairs, Adriaan has an MSC from Oxford, with diverse interests in the digital economy, entertainment, and business. He is a specialist trainer in advanced analytics and media.

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