Virgin Money Added to Fintech IPO Watch List

IPO Status: Teaser

I track through 3 phases:

– teaser = announced intent, little hard data to evaluate, just what PR wants to tell us. You cannot tease for too long, if no S-1 within 30 days I take them off this list.

– S-1 filed with SEC, hard data available to public

– Public: Mr. Market has delivered an initial verdict.

Headline PR:

“Virgin Money, the banking arm of Sir Richard Branson’s empire, is said to be preparing to announce plans this week for its £2bn London IPO”

Updated IPO Watch List

The Virgin Money IPO story tells us:

1. Fintech is hot – but we already knew that.

2. They won’t fail for lack of capital – raising £2bn

3. The idea of London as the Fintech capital of the world is getting more serious every day.

4. This is classic Richard Branson. He loves taking on industries that have become “fat, dumb and unhappy”. Expect some fun & fireworks.

5. This is what VCs call the “full stack” play. It is a full Bank, fully regulated, able to offer whatever consumers want, but doing it without any legacy baggage – just like Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Cola (and countless other Virgin brands).

That shaggy haired “disrupter before the term was fashionable” does it again.

Oh, wait a minute, it does have some baggage. This is Northern Rock re-born. So, this is maybe more like Citizens Bank and Lloyds Bank IPOs ie a traditional bank. Yet, with a Virgin name on it, methinks it won’t be so traditional. So when we see the S-1, maybe the story is how existing banks are re-inventing themselves to compete against the born-digital ventures.


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