London pension fintech Smart gears up for deals after $95m funding injection
London-based pensions fintech firm Smart said it was gearing up for a flurry of dealmaking today as it bagged a $95m (£76m) funding round from a host of big name backers including New York based outfit Aquiline.
Smart, a savings and pension firm, said it had closed the series E funding round led by Aquiline alongside investors including Chrysalis Investments, Fidelity International Strategic Ventures and Barclays.
The deal marks one of the biggest for fintech firms this year and comes after a torrid 12 months for fundraising in which start-ups have been forced to write down their valuations to raise cash.
Smart declined to disclose a valuation from the round but it is understood to have not suffered a downgrade in valuation in the latest round.
Bosses said they had seen bumper growth over the past two years and the fresh cash would now be funnelled into dealmaking and development of its tech platform.
“Proceeds from the funding round will also help finance near-term acquisitions and accelerate Smart’s investment in and distribution of its proprietary retirement savings technology platform, Keystone,” the firm said in a statement.
Smart has felt the lift of a wave of consumers looking to take more active control of their pension savings in recent years. Revenues at the firm jumped 65 per cent to £67m in 2022, with the firm included in a cohort of Europe’s fastest growing firms in February 2023.
Co-founders Andrew Evans and Will Wynne, who set up the firm in 2014, said the investment was “strong recognition of Smart’s success”” and a “vote of confidence in the UK’s fintech sector”, as well as underlining the size of the opportunity in the industry.
“This is a $62trillion global sector in the early stages of being disrupted, and we are uniquely positioned to take advantage of that,” they added.
“We have already reached scale and profitability in the UK, with Smart Pension now serving in excess of one million savers, and this backing allows us to achieve that scale and profitability in our global markets across the group.”
Smart is among a host of fintech firms that have sprung up in the UK to capitalise on a move to take control of retirement savings.
London-listed PensionBee and Cushon, which was acquired by Natwest earlier this year, are among the other fintech firms to have made inroads into the market.