Digital payments company Wise plc went public with a direct listing on the London Stock Exchange on Wednesday, which was founded by Kristo Karman and Tafit Henricus as outrage at high money transfer fees.
A decade after the establishment of the company, the two became among the Biggest winners of listing Direct to Wise Plc, which operates as a digital payments service provider in the UK
The company began trading at 800 pence in London on Wednesday, and has given co-CEOs Karman and Henricus stakes worth about $2 billion and $1 billion, respectively.
Karmann and Henrikus, both 40 and native of Estonia, started Wise about a decade ago after moving to London. While working in the English capital, they were frustrated by the high fees banks charge for money sent between the UK and their home country.
The two discovered while chatting one day that they were about to send and receive equivalent amounts in opposite directions, and realized that they could arrange transfers between themselves, bypassing the banks altogether.
“Both of us are tired of losing money to the banks,” Karman said in the WISE listing prospectus.
Early backers included Valar Ventures, an investment firm co-founded by billionaire Peter Thiel, and British investor Bailey Gifford.