Singapore Fintech Firm Nium Expands in U.K. Before Pursuing IPO

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Nium, a Singapore-based fintech startup backed by state-owned investor Temasek Holdings Pte, agreed to buy payments firm Ixaris for an undisclosed amount to expand in Europe before pursuing an initial public offering in the U.S.

All of Ixaris’s 86 employees in London and Malta will join Nium, according to an emailed statement from Nium on Monday. Ixaris, based in London, is best known for introducing Europe’s first virtual prepaid card in 2003. An e-money licensed entity in Europe, the firm helps airlines and online travel agents reduce surcharges and earn rebates.

Nium is broadening its geographic reach before targeting an IPO in the U.S. in 18 to 24 months, Chief Executive Officer Prajit Nanu said in an interview. The company expects to announce an acquisition in India in about six weeks and another deal before the end of the year.

“We are on a path to an IPO,” Nanu said in an interview. “We’ve had SPAC opportunities, looked at them, but we wanted to give ourselves a calmer way to list; there is no reason to rush it.”

Previously known as Instarem, Nium was launched in 2014 in Singapore to make it easier people to transfer money to friends and family. The startup has raised funds from Temasek, Visa Inc., Vertex Growth and other investors as it seeks to become a global payments platform.

Financial Technology Partners LLC advised Nium on the acquisition.

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