Monitise owners monetise company, once worth $2bn, for just £75m

Alan Burkitt-Gray
Published on:

Fiserv buys 100% of UK-based Monitise for £75m after years of losses – but company was once valued at $2bn

Financial services company Fiserv has bought mobile money specialist Monitise, valued at $2 billion a few years ago, for just £75 million.

Fiserv, based in Wisconsin, completed the deal to buy the UK-listed company on Friday after upping the original £70 million offer to £75 million.

The deals, said Fiserv, meant it was “further expanding its digital technology suite to enable financial institutions worldwide to meet customer expectations for innovative digital banking experiences”.

Monitise was founded in 2003 by Alastair Lukies and by 2012 it said it was providing services to over 250 financial institutions in the US, had more than six million users worldwide and had a global partnership with Visa to deliver its services to more than 1.9 billion card-holders.

In 2012 Visa Europe took a 15% stake in Monitise’s Mobile Money Network, a UK-based enabler of mobile commerce and payments services for retailers. Deloitte named it as one of the UK’s top 15 fastest growing technology businesses in 2011 and 2012 and again 2013.

However, despite alliances – one with MasterCard followed the deal with Visa – the company seemed not to live up to its early promise and revenue declined from £95 million in 2014 to £89 million the following year and the share price plummeted. Pretax losses went from £227 million in 2015 to £243 million in 2016.

Lukies –  named as a Global Telecoms Business 40 under 40 when he led Monitise – stepped down as CEO in 2015. He is now a founding partner of Motive Partners, described on its website as “a next-generation investment firm focused on technology enabled companies that power the financial services industry”.

The company says it is “a collective of industry leaders, investors, operators and technologists with exceptional domain expertise and relationships”.