Nik storonsky | revolut ceo

Revolut keeps ‘open mind’ on possible IPO venue as it hints at listing plans

In a notable shift from previous statements, Revolut, the fintech powerhouse, is now signaling a more flexible approach to its potential initial public offering (IPO) venue. This development comes as the company releases impressive financial results for 2023, fueling speculation about its public market debut.

Record Profits and Valuation Ambitions

Revolut’s latest financial report reveals record profits, driven by higher interest rates and a surge in user growth. This strong performance has set the stage for ambitious valuation targets, with the company reportedly seeking a valuation that could exceed $40 billion.

Such a figure would place Revolut in the same league as established FTSE 100 lenders like Lloyds and Barclays, underscoring the fintech’s meteoric rise in the financial services sector.

London vs. New York: A Changing Perspective

Martin Gilbert, Revolut’s chair and a veteran fund manager, has praised recent efforts by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to make London a more attractive listing destination. This stance contrasts with earlier comments from CEO Nik Storonsky, who had previously favored New York’s Nasdaq for a potential listing.

Gilbert stated, “All the moves [regulators] are making are good – they’re allowing founder-led companies like Revolut to list here rather than just have no choice.” However, he cautioned that the proof would be in future outcomes, maintaining a pragmatic outlook.

Martin gilbert chairman at revolut speaker
Martin Gilbert Chairman at Revolut Speaker

Regulatory Hurdles and Banking License Saga

A key point of contention for Revolut has been its protracted struggle to secure a UK banking license, a process that has stretched beyond three years. This regulatory limbo has been a source of frustration for the company’s leadership and has influenced their perspective on the UK market.

FCA’s Efforts to Attract Tech Listings

The FCA’s proposed changes to listing rules, including easier access to dual-class share structures, are aimed at making London more appealing to founder-led tech companies like Revolut. These structures allow founders to retain control even after selling significant stakes during an IPO, a feature that has made U.S. markets attractive to many tech startups.

Financial Results and IPO Preparations

Revolut’s 2023 financial results not only showcase its profitability but also hint at IPO preparations. CFO Victor Stinga noted that the company has “set solid foundations” to align its financial processes with the standards expected of publicly listed companies.

Importantly, the latest accounts received an unqualified opinion from auditor BDO, a significant improvement from previous years when the auditor had expressed concerns about verifying Revolut’s revenue.

Revolut CFO Victor Stinga

Industry Implications and the “Unicorn Council”

Revolut’s potential listing could have far-reaching implications for the UK fintech sector. The company’s UK CEO, Francesca Carlesi, has taken a leadership role in the “Unicorn Council,” an initiative focused on enhancing London’s appeal as a listing venue for fintech startups.

This move signals a broader industry effort to position London as a competitive global hub for fintech IPOs, potentially challenging New York’s dominance in this space.

Revolut, UK CEO, Francesca Carlesi

Looking Ahead: The Road to IPO

While Gilbert suggests that Revolut is at least a year away from a public listing, the company’s recent financial performance and strategic moves indicate that preparations are well underway. As Revolut continues to weigh its options, the fintech world will be watching closely to see whether London can secure this high-profile listing, potentially setting a precedent for other UK-based unicorns eyeing public markets.

The outcome of Revolut’s IPO decision could significantly influence the future landscape of fintech listings and the competitiveness of global financial centers in attracting high-growth tech companies.

Tumisang Bogwasi
Tumisang Bogwasi

2X Award-Winning Entrepreneur | Empowering Brands to Generate Leads, Grow Revenue with Business Strategy and Digital Marketing | Founder, CEO of Fine Group