February 23, 2024

cleverA London-based startup that helps employers and their employees manage and monitor their superannuation, said it has raised $95 million in Series E funding. It said it plans to use the funds to expand its international footprint and make acquisitions.

New backer Aquiline Capital Partners led the investment, with participation from previous investors Barclays, Chrysalis Investments, Fidelity International Strategic Ventures, DWS and Natixis Investment Managers.Valuations were not disclosed, but sky newsThe company that leaked the news last night noted that it was raising “only a modest discount” compared to previous fundraisings — meaning a slightly down round.

For some background on what this number might be, brochure Smart is estimated to be valued at $564 million (£451 million at current exchange rates).In addition, it is reported Back to January 2023 Smart is trying to raise 100 million pounds ($123 million), far more than the $95 million it announced five months later today.

Smart declined to comment on those details; they were not disputed.

down pressure

There has been a lot of downward pressure on tech valuations in the last year, even as companies have been growing. Smart said group revenue would be £67m in 2022, a 65% increase on 2021. It also claims £5.5 billion in assets under management (AUM) on its platform and is on track to close in June 2023.

“This investment is a strong endorsement of Smart’s success and journey to date, and highlights the huge opportunity ahead. It is also a strong vote of confidence in the UK fintech industry and its leadership in delivering financial services,” United Founders Andrew Evans and Will Wynne said in a joint statement. “Our mission is to transform retirement, savings and financial wellbeing…it’s a $62 trillion global industry in the early stages of disruption and we’re uniquely positioned to capitalize on this. We’ve reached Scale and profitability, Smart Pension now serves over 1 million depositors and this support enables us to achieve this scale and profitability across the Group’s global markets. We welcome Aquiline to our Board and we are excited for the years to come So excited.”

Smart was founded in London in 2014 as part of the UK government automatic registration Pensions legislation two years ago required employers to offer workplace pension schemes by default, rather than requiring workers to opt in. The idea is to ensure that more people save for retirement through private pensions, but given that people are likely to change jobs every few years, it makes it somewhat unwieldy to keep track of the myriad of different pension funds they may have spread across different places. suppliers – this can be an administrative minefield.

Essentially, this is where Smart helps, as the infrastructure for digital-first pension administration.

On the one hand, Smart helps employers meet their auto-enrollment obligations by setting up pension plans, while the company actually operates its own “master trustIt says it currently serves 70,000 employers and over a million individuals. On the other hand, Smart also enables savers to consolidate and manage their different superannuation, so they always know the current status of their superannuation. A retirement savings technology platform called Keystone does just that.

Smart Pension Application image credits: clever

The company has also been weighing the performance of the government Hopes for new guidance and rules Increased transparency and clarity for pension scheme policyholders.

go global

Although trillion dollars The UK pensions market itself is large enough that firms have expand into continental Europe, U.S.the Middle East and Asia, has received at least $230 million in outside investment over the past seven years, although the company has also raised Undisclosed Series C Funding 2020, of which including minority investments From Barclays Bank.

With another $95 million from the bank, Smart says it plans to expand further internationally and make some strategic acquisitions — fitting into a larger trend that there has been some consolidation in the fintech space, even in today’s turbulent markets. As such, investors are betting it will weather the storm.

“Smart’s unique retirement technology leadership combined with Aquiline’s extensive experience in the retirement technology industry make this an extremely attractive investment with global interest in better retirement,” said Aquiline Chairman and CEO Jeff Greenberg in a statement. Savings technology is in growing demand.” “Smart has been delivering impressive commercial growth and is backed by a string of top-tier investors that we are delighted to join. Under the leadership of Andrew and Will, we have every confidence that Smart is A growing multi-billion pound company.”

Smart has made acquisitions for inorganic growth in the past, with previous deals including Ensign Master Trust in October 2022 and retirement solutions-focused Stadion Money Management in January 2022.