Monitise concerned by how City values tech sector

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The Independent Online

Monitise, the fast-growing British mobile payments company, yesterday raised fresh fears about London as a place for tech companies to raise money and claimed it was holding back valuations compared with US rivals.

Alastair Lukies, the chief executive and founder, has already warned that he could move Monitise's stock-market listing from London as he feels it has outgrown the junior market, Aim, where it is listed at present.

"What we want to make sure we have is the best access to capital and funding that enables us to keep growing," said Mr Lukies, as he unveiled a 136 per cent surge in full-year revenues to £36.1m.

"Monitise has hundreds of opportunities that come our way every month. We have to say 'no' to a lot because of capital constraints.

"I believe there are other environments that could offer more opportunities – private equity, the Nasdaq, the Hang Seng, the LSE," he said referring to the New York, Hong Kong and main London markets. Mr Lukies stressed his loyalty to Britain, especially after the Olympics, where mobile payments have been popular.

He said Aim has been a "brilliant partner" but claimed US rivals with a similar profile to Monitise were being valued at far higher levels because there is a more positive attitude to tech firms.

Mr Lukies singled out Splunk, which he said has similar revenues and losses to Monitise, but has a $3.3bn (£2.1bn) valuation compared with Monitise's £375m.

Monitise, in which the card-payments giant Visa is a leading shareholder, made a pre-tax loss of £16.9m in the year to 30 June, down only slightly on a year earlier.

The company should now be profitable by September 2013, earlier than expected, but continues to invest heavily in payments technology, which helps dozens of banks to process mobile transactions.