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Wise reports FY2023 earnings: 3 questions with Matt Briers, CFO at Wise

  • How did Wise perform during the financial year that ended 31 March 2023?
  • Tearsheet spoke with Matt Briers, CFO at Wise, about the factors that drove Wise's strong results, the impact of economic stress on payment firms, and the platform's strategic plans for the near future.

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Wise reports FY2023 earnings: 3 questions with Matt Briers, CFO at Wise

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Wise reports FY2023 earnings: 3 questions with Matt Briers, CFO at Wise

Wise reports FY2023 earnings: 3 questions with Matt Briers, CFO at Wise

We take a look at how Wise performed during the financial year that ended 31 March 2023.


An image showing the product line of platform Wise comprising of three offerings

Image Source: Wise

Wise recently released its preliminary financial year results ending 31 March 2023, reporting high growth in active customers and volumes, combined with increased adoption of the Wise account.

  • Total revenue increased 51% from a year ago and came in at £846.1 million
  • Total income increased 73% to £964.2 million, driven by higher customer balances and higher interest rates
  • Gross profit grew by 73% to £638.2 million
  • Adjusted EBITDA almost doubled y-o-y to £238.6 million with an adjusted EBITDA margin of 24.7% driven by the addition of the new Wise Account interest feature
  • Active customers increased by 34%, hitting 10 million by the end of March

I spoke with Matt Briers, CFO at Wise, about the factors that drove Wise's strong results, the impact of economic stress on payment firms, and the platform's strategic plans for the near future.

What factors contributed to Wise's growth, in terms of customers and YoY revenue?

Matt Briers, Wise: Simply put, active customer adoption is accelerating, and this is driving our long-term growth. Additionally, once our customers join us, they stay with us. As we reported, we now have 10 million active customers and our cross-border volume is now around £105 billion, representing 34% and 37% YoY increases, respectively. As a result, our revenue grew by 51% when compared to last year.

The underlying reason for our growth has everything to do with the problem we’re solving -- it’s quite significant. You see, the world is becoming more global each and every day. Today, people are moving approximately £2 trillion across borders annually, while businesses move around £9 trillion internationally each year.

Despite this, sending money across borders with most providers remains stubbornly slow, expensive, and hard to do. Truly international bank accounts don’t really exist, and the underlying technology and infrastructure to support these needs are dated and not suited to meet the needs of today’s international customers.

We’re addressing these issues by working tirelessly to make sending money faster, cheaper, easier, and more transparent for people and businesses -- and that approach is being well-received by our customers.

Have the troubles in the banking industry impacted the capabilities of platforms like Wise that are focused on international payments?

Matt Briers, Wise: We haven’t experienced negative impacts as a result of the recent banking industry challenges. In fact, our Wise Business offering has been growing 一 we served over 500,000 active customers over the past year, including helping a number of businesses that sought to move their money urgently at the time.

The key difference to bear in mind is that we don’t lend the money we hold on behalf of our customers. Instead, for our customers who send money with Wise or hold money in their Wise account, regardless of which currency they hold, and in keeping with Wise’s regulatory obligations, we protect their funds in a mix of cash in leading commercial banks and investments in secure liquid assets, primarily government bonds. We also keep our customers’ money separate from the money we use to run our business.

So, all is quite secure in the context of the challenges that the banking industry recently experienced.

What strategic plans does Wise aim to implement in the near future?

Matt Briers, Wise: We’ll be bringing Wise to more people and businesses who will benefit from our services through our Wise Account, Wise Business, and Wise Platform, as well as through account features like Assets and Interest. In the year ahead, our customers can expect more features and benefits, enhanced user experiences, and expanded availability in new markets and currencies.

Ultimately, we remain focused on our mission and on reducing the unnecessary friction and fees that still exist today when people and businesses need to move and manage money from one country and currency to another. As always, we will continue to be guided by what our customers want, and we will continue to keep a close eye on and explore new methods of moving and managing money effectively and efficiently.

Wise’s shares jumped 16% last to last Tuesday following the release of FY23 preliminary results.

Market recap

The fintech IPO Index is up about 26.3% year to date

FIS (FIS) - up 12% to $59.09 per share

  • Previewing its upcoming second-quarter results, FIS expects to be above the mid-point of its guidance for revenue, adjusted EBITDA, and adjusted earnings per share.
  • On Thursday, FIS inked a deal to sell a majority stake in Worldpay Merchant Solutions business, to private equity funds managed by GTCR for $18.5 billion. FIS will receive upfront proceeds of $11.7 billion and keep a 45% stake in the new entity. It plans to use those proceeds to pay down debt and buy back shares from existing shareholders.

Affirm (AFRM) - down 10% to $13.79 per share

  • Shares of Affirm plummeted Thursday after a stock downgrade from Piper Sandler analysts.
  • A chunk of the company’s revenues come from selling loans. However, as Affirm holds more loans on the books, higher interest rates may hit margins. Additionally, pressure is building up for Affirm going forward as competition in the BNPL space intensifies with more players like Apple entering the market.

Editor's picks

Tweet of the week

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This week's reads

FIS sells Worldpay stake to GTCR for $18.5 billion


Private equity firm GTCR on Thursday agreed to buy a 55% stake in Worldpay, the merchant services business of FIS, in a deal that values the unit at $18.5 billion. As part of the deal, FIS will receive upfront proceeds of $11.7 billion and keep a 45% stake in the new entity. FIS plans to use the proceeds from the deal to pay down debt and buy back shares from existing shareholders. The deal is expected to close by the first quarter of 2024.

Affirm sunsets Returnly and directs merchants to use Loop


Affirm is sunsetting Returnly and transitioning the merchants using that platform to Loop. Returnly, which was acquired by Affirm in 2021 and offers shoppers a self-service online returns experience, will be closed by early October. With the sunsetting of Returnly, Affirm has named Loop as the preferred returns provider for merchants who are using the platform.

Amex says too much liquidity trapped in the existing B2B payments process


It’s the 21st century, yet around 4 in 10 B2B payments made in the U.S. rely on paper checks and other outdated hoops to jump through. “These are highly manual processes and lead to a lot of cost inefficiency,” explained Pavan Krishna, vice president of B2B products and partnerships at American Express. Beyond that, there are multiple steps that a buyer and a supplier need to go through before a payment is made. “These are often again manual steps” such as invoice management, purchase order management, and more, all of which entail a high degree of both effort and time and create frictional liquidity.

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