Monzo founder Blomfield fires parting shot at London as he packs bags for San Francisco
Monzo founder Tom Blomfield has warned there are no quick fixes for London’s “very real” listings problem, in a parting blow to the capital as he packs his bags for the US.
Blomfield, who founded payments firm Gocardless in 2011 and Monzo in 2015, has taken up a role as partner of storied San Francisco start-up accelerator Y Combinator.
In an interview with Bloomberg, Blomfield said there were more opportunities for entrepreneurs in the US and the listings problem in the UK was “very real”.
“Within Y Combinator the range of projects that get worked on, from AI, to space rockets, to supersonic jets, to nuclear fusion, it’s kind of breathtaking,” he said.
“That ambition and that sort of belief that you can achieve anything I think is very, very powerful and intoxicating, and doesn’t exist as much in London,” he added.
Blomfield told Bloomberg that it was “very brave” of fintech money transfer firm Wise to go public in London in 2021 instead of floating in New York, where growth technology firms are typically seen to fetch higher valuations.
“The US capital markets at IPO stage are much, much deeper and much more accepting of high growth tech companies. I don’t think that is going to change anytime soon,” he said.
London-headquartered Wise has been touted as a success story of the UK fintech scene and is one of the few big name fintech firms to have floated in the City over New York.
Blomfield’s comments come amid a period of soul searching in the Square Mile as policymakers and officials look to revive the City’s floundering markets and tempt more tech firms to go public in London.
IPOs in London have slumped more sharply than the global average this year. UK IPO proceeds in the first quarter of this year were 80 per cent lower than the same period in 2022, and some 99 per cent lower than the record levels experienced in the first three months of 2021, according to data from EY.
A number of reviews have been rolled out in recent months to try and overhaul red tape and ease the processes governing the listings regime, including introducing dual class share structures to allow founders to retain more control of their businesses.