Powa founder Dan Wagner paid £50,000 to another company before administrators were called in on fintech unicorn

Jasper Jolly
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Powa Technologies had ambitions to take on Apple Pay before its collapse in February (Source: Getty)

The former owner of collapsed fintech start-up Powa Technologies paid £50,000 to a company he owned in January this year, shortly before administrators were called in to break up the company.

Dan Wagner, the charismatic founder of the London-based firm, paid the money to Bright Station Ventures in January of this year, as was first reported by the Sunday Telegraph. On 19 February Deloitte was appointed as administrator.

Wagner said to City A.M.: "All payments to related parties were authorised by the board, audited by PWC and referenced in our annual audit report. Bright Station Ventures was a service provider to Powa. The payment in question was for services provided to Powa, including the provision of its telephone systems."

Powa had been hyped as one of Britain’s most promising technology "unicorns" - with a valuation over $1bn. Bankers at Goldman Sachs valued it at over $16bn in September 2015.

Read more: Death of a unicorn: Inside one of the biggest startup failures of all time

Powa's various products included ecommerce website building and payments technology which allowed users to point their mobile phones at adverts to buy products. Yet the company burned through investors’ cash, including £2.3m on a year’s rent in London’s Heron Tower.

The collapse came when a £60m loan became due to Wellington Management, one of Powa’s main investors.

Some parts of the business are still functioning, after administrators sold PowaTag, PowaWeb and PowaPOS in March and April of this year.

Deloitte declined to comment.

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