Tech guru warns that London will lose out on IPOs

Marion Dakers
LONDON will continue to lose out on initial public offerings (IPOs) in the technology sector unless banks and investors learn more about these businesses, according to the head of a British ecommerce company hoping to list soon.

A lack of specialised analysts and committed investors could prevent new firms from staying in the UK, chief executive Dan Wagner said.

London-based Powa today revealed a $76m (£48.5m) investment from a US fund, said by industry sources to be Boston-based Wellington Management – the company’s first outside injection of capital since it was founded by Wagner in 2007.

“UK investors did show an interest, but it was short-lived,” he told City A.M. “They wanted to pay £2m for

30 per cent; they didn’t get the huge potential of the product. We did have a bit of a bunfight from US funds who saw the potential.”

Wagner, who became one of Britain’s first dotcom millionaires when he floated business information service Maid in 1994, has hired Barclays with a view to listing Powa in 12 to 18 months.

“I very much want it to be in the UK. The problem is we don’t have the tech analysts that cover the verticals, the software and platforms.” he said.