British fintech firm Wise plans to go public in London via direct listing

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. Direct listings allow firms to go public without raising any fresh capital.

The news marks a big win for Britain, which is hoping to lure more large tech firms to list in London rather than New York.

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.”

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