Twitter founder Biz Stone joins board of UK fintech r8

By Roger Baird on Thursday 18 April 2019

Alternative LendingDigital BankingSavings and Investment

The British holding company plans a London flotation in the summer.

Twitter co-founder Biz Stone (pictured) has joined the board of UK fintech r8, which targets a London flotation this summer.

Multi-millionaire Stone joins the group as investors inject $5m into the holding company launched just two years ago.

London-based r8 is the majority owner of two firms: cryptocurrency venture Mode, and Jago, an electronic payments business, which connects UK and European brands with Chinese shoppers.

The holding company plans to raise around £20m giving it a valuation of up to £50m, when it launches its initial public offering as early as July.

The shareholders behind r8, launched digital business lender Redwood Bank in 2015. The firm was founded by bankers Jonathan Rowland and Gary Wilkinson. Rowland is the son of major Tory party donor David Rowland. In 2017, r8 was spun out of the bank.

Stone has been appointed to the r8 board as a non-executive director. His previous investments include tech ventures Slack, Pinterest and Square.

The holding company said it will use the cash in this fundraising to grow its subsidiary businesses and to seek a London Stock Exchange listing.

“The fintech landscape is innovating at pace, and we need to develop a robust enough financial ecosystem to bring the full scope of banking and financial services to holders of both traditional and digital assets,” said Rowland in a company statement.

He added: “We are delighted to have raised this investment and are thrilled to bring Biz Stone on board as we begin to further develop our vision.”

Last July r8’s Jago was appointed by Chinese conglomerate Tencent to handle Wechat payments in the UK, and in March this year it signed a deal to manage Alipay payments for Chinese online giant Alibaba in Britain.

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