A Kazakh “Fintech” company just debuted on the London Stock Exchange with a $6.5 billion valuation.
The people hawking this company are touting it as the future of personal finance and E-Commerce of Kazakhstan.
It’s Wirecard all over again, or the third film in the Borat Sagdiyev movie trilogy, but this sets off my scam warning something fierce:
With most staff working from home, the headquarters of Kazakhstan’s fintech hero Kaspi.kz exudes a sleepiness ill-fitting for a company whose rapid rise has been accelerated by the coronavirus pandemic.
Kaspi, Kazakhstan’s payment systems and e-commerce leader, became the Central Asian country’s most valuable firm after it was valued at $6.5 billion on the London stock exchange in October in what was the United Kingdom’s second largest float of this year.
The listing took commentators by surprise, coming after a failed attempt — falling short of a $4 billon market cap valuation — the year before.
But Kaspi’s Georgia-born CEO Mikheil Lomtadze, told AFP that the company and its investors, including Goldman Sachs and CIS-focused Baring Vostok — were not fazed by the false start.
“We believe that we have a lot of space for further growth, and we were not in any hurry to do our IPO,” said Lomtadze in the company’s head offices in Almaty.
Lomtadze, sporting an open-necked shirt and jeans, told AFP that beyond China, where online payment systems Alipay and WeChat have become ubiquitous, there are few markets that have seen user behaviour so utterly transformed by mobile payments as Kazakhstan.
“We are frontrunners in digitising the country,” Lomtadze said.
I don’t know about you, but I just filled up my bullsh%$ bingo card.