Smart plans to go public in London by way of direct itemizing

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In this photo illustration, the TransferWise logo is displayed on an Android mobile phone.

Omar Marques | SOPA Pictures | LightRakete | Getty Images

LONDON – UK financial technology company Wise said Thursday it expected to go public on the London Stock Exchange through a direct listing.

Wise, formerly known as TransferWise, sought a direct listing rather than an IPO. Direct listings enable companies to go public without raising fresh capital.

The news is a big win for the UK, which is hoping to get more big tech companies listed in London instead of New York.

Wise said it will also introduce a customer shareholder program called OwnWise, which would allow users to own an interest in the company.

“Wise is used to questioning convention and this listing is no exception,” said Kristo Kaarmann, CEO and co-founder of Wise.

“We have been developing a new way to move money around the world for the last ten years – faster, cheaper, easier, and completely transparent. A direct listing allows us a cheaper and more transparent way of keeping Wise ownership in line with to expand our mission. “