(Bloomberg) -- Revolut Ltd., one of Europe’s most-valuable startups, has hired bankers to help it sell about $500 million worth of existing equity, joining a raft of private companies that have looked to alternative forms of liquidity for its shareholders as the market for initial public offerings remains in the doldrums.  

The challenger bank is working with Morgan Stanley on the sale, which will help it free up cash for legions of existing staffers and early investors, according to people familiar with the matter. The transaction, which was reported earlier by the Financial Times, may value Revolut at more than $40 billion, up from the $33 billion valuation it last garnered in a 2021 fundraising round.

The company — which has spent years trying to secure a banking license from UK regulators that would allow it to expand into more services in its home market — has benefited as new customers flocked to its app in recent years. Revolut said its revenue for 2022 jumped 45% to £922.5 million ($1.17 billion). The upstart hasn’t reported results for last year yet but had previously forecast that revenue for 2023 would be roughly £2 billion. 

The share sale comes after one of Revolut’s shareholders — an investment trust managed by Schroders Plc — signaled that it thinks the firm should be valued at about $25.7 billion. 

Revolut has long said it’s preparing for a potential initial public offering but the company and its other large, privately-held peers have been hamstrung by dormant equity capital markets. That has created problems for some early investors or employees who might need the liquidity that comes from a share sale. 

Stripe Inc., another highly valued fintech, raised about $6.5 billion last year as part of a transaction that allowed it to organize a tender offer that let staffers sell at least some of their shares.

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