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Smart, the London-headquartered fintech transforming the global retirement savings market, today announces it has closed its $95m Series E funding in a round led by Aquiline Capital Partners LLC (“Aquiline”), a private investment firm based in New York and London.

Existing investors participating in the round include: Chrysalis Investments, Fidelity International Strategic Ventures, DWS, Barclays and Natixis Investment Managers.

Funds from this investment round will bolster Smart’s global expansion plans, building on the company’s strong performance in Europe, the US, Middle East and Asia. 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 market-leading growth and profitability of its UK-based Smart Pension business is underpinned by the scalability of the Keystone platform.

Smart has experienced a period of exceptional growth, with group revenue of £67m in 2022, a 65% increase on the previous year. In February 2023, Smart was ranked among Europe’s fastest-growing companies by the Financial Times.

Smart today already has over £5.5 billion in Assets Under Management (AUM) on its platform and is expected to exceed £10bn by the end of June 2023 following this Series E funding. Growth has been driven by the accelerating global demand for modern, digital retirement savings technology, the success of Smart Pension in the UK and strategic M&A

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After the UK implemented mandatory workplace pension auto-enrolment, Andrew Evans and Will Wynne founded Smart in 2014. Smart owns and runs Smart Pension, one of “the big four” UK auto-enrolment master trusts, and it serves more than one million investors and 70,000 employers.

Keystone, the first worldwide, cloud-native workplace retirement savings platform, serves as the foundation for the group’s current and future growth. For governments and financial services partners around the world, Keystone delivers all the infrastructure required to deliver contemporary, digital retirement savings, assisting the wave of change now reshaping the $62 trillion AUM global pensions market.

The platform already supports multiple retirement savings products globally, making it a significant technology export success story for the UK. These include a nationally implemented pooled retirement solution in the US, an award-winning partnership with one of Ireland’s most renowned financial services organisations, and a partnership with Zurich Workplace Solutions (Middle East), a division of the Zurich Insurance Group, on the Dubai government workplace savings programme.

The obligation to save for retirement is being placed increasingly onto people and employees via the workplace by law as populations age and governments struggle with the high national debt and massive budgetary deficits. Governments and major financial institutions are relying on Smart’s Keystone technology to make sure that people are saving more and are equipped to handle their money wisely in order to assist them close the retirement savings gap In order to achieve these critical goals, Keystone offers, at scale, a quantum leap in the digital experience, bringing the retirement savings industry into step with high-tech industries like e-commerce and online banking.Aquiline’s chairman and CEO, Jeff Greenberg, stated: “Smart’s distinct leadership in retirement technology combined with Aquiline’s rich experience in the retirement technology market makes this an appealing investment, as does the expanding global need for improved retirement saving technology. We are pleased to join a number of top-tier investors that have supported Smart and have seen firsthand how continuously amazing their commercial development has been. We are certain that Smart will grow to be a multibillion dollar corporation under the direction of Andrew and Will.

“The UK continues to lead the way in the democratisation and digitization of retirement savings, and we are thrilled to support a UK leader in the sector as it helps to address urgent issues facing savers, financial institutions, and governments around the world.”

‘This investment is strong recognition of Smart’s achievements and journey to date, and it shows the great possibility that remains ahead,’ said Smart’s co-founders Andrew Evans and Will Wynne. It also represents a strong vote of confidence in the UK’s fintech industry and its position as a global leader in the provision of financial services.

“We’re on a mission to revolutionise financial security, retirement, and savings. Our industry-leading platform, Keystone, is used by the biggest, most prosperous financial institutions in the world. We are the world leader in retirement technology. We are in a unique position to benefit from the early stages of disruption in this $62 trillion global industry. With Smart Pension already serving more than one million savers in the UK, we have already attained scale and profitability. With this support, we are able to extend that scale and profitability to the rest of the group’s international markets. We warmly welcome Aquiline to our board and are tremendously optimistic about the future.

Charles Janeway of Aquiline has joined Smart’s board of directors as a non-executive director as it works to enhance it.

Regarding the Series E investment round, Lazard served as Smart’s financial advisor. Perella Weinberg Partners served as Aquiline’s financial advisor.

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