UK fintech startup Weswap pulls the plug on 2018 London IPO plans

Peer-to-peer currency exchange platform Weswap has scrapped plans to list on London’s Alternative Investment Market (Aim) this month, after investor interest fell flat.

Sources told City A.M. that the initial public offering, which had been mooted for a December launch, had failed to garner sufficient attention in what was promised to be a relatively small raise for the market.

The UK fintech startup was aiming to raise between £15m and £20m, taking its market capitalisation to around £45m. Aside from providing Weswap with the prestige of going public, the float was intended to fund expansion into the European and Asian markets.

A company spokesperson confirmed the move to City A.M., adding that the startup will revisit the plans in the first quarter of 2019. The company citied political uncertainty for its decision.

Weswap’s listing was set to go live in the wake of London peer-to-peer lender Funding Circle’s offering in October. Shares in the fintech firm took a hammering on its first day of trading on the London Stock Exchange, falling at one point more than 24 per cent below the initial target price of 440p.

Funding Circle’s share price has since recovered somewhat, though it closed today at 380p.

The news raises questions about the future of fintech firms on London’s public markets. While several City senior executives have previously denied Funding Circle’s lacklustre listing was indicative of wider market sentiment, one London fintech investor said Weswap’s listing was always “a long shot”.

Weswap said at the time of announcing its intention to list that it was hoping to develop new products with the funds, such as travel insurance, business travel, VAT reclaim and travel-related money lending.

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The startup has raised more than £20m of venture capital funding to date, from investors such as IW Capital, EC1 Capital and Ascot Capital. It also raised over £3m in a crowdfunding campaign on Seedrs in 2016.

Strand Hanson and Arden Partners were appointed as advisers on the float.



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