Mergers & Acquisitions
A couple of weeks ago we chatted to Michael Gastauer about his fintech startup WB21, a “digital bank” that has claimed one million customers and a $2.2bn valuation after less than a year in operation. It’s a remarkable trajectory for a company with a relatively unknown management team, no outside investors and what appear to be thousands of fake Twitter followers. WB21 has recently won mainstream attention by announcing a move from London to Berlin following the UK’s vote to leave the European Union. The WSJ said it was “one of the first startups” to quit the UK for Germany as a result of Brexit and the city of Berlin has welcomed WB21 and Gastauer with open arms.
Rocket Internet, the Berlin-based clone factory that made its name copying other people’s business ideas in new markets, is looking for Europe’s “most promising start-ups, scale-ups and tech for social impact companies” and would like to hear from you.
Technology startups aren’t known for their humility, but British unicorn Ve Interactive seems to have particularly ambitious forecasting. In January 2015, the company confidently predicted close to a billion pounds of sales in 2016, along with an impressive £866m of profit, according to an investor document seen by FT Alphaville.
Leyou Technologies is probably one of the stranger cases of domestic Chinese companies buying up overseas assets. For years, the Hong Kong-listed business has been knee deep in poultry, farming and culling chickens for sale inside China. More recently, it has made inroads into a more glamorous, modern and profitable market: the world of video games.
Shareholders give muted warning over executive pay, Toscafund’s Speedy Hire broadside and May’s scepticism over points-based immigration. FT Opening Quote, with commentary by City Editor Jonathan Guthrie, is your early Square Mile briefing. You can sign up for the full newsletter here.