Smart, the global retirement savings technology platform provider that powers the Smart Pension Master Trust, one of the ‘big four’ UK auto-enrolment master trusts, has announced that it is concluding a £165million Series D funding round. Chrysalis Investments, one of the UK’s leading crossover investors, has led Smart’s Series D funding round with a £75million equity investment, with additional investors to be announced in the coming weeks. The overall round will comprise £110million of primary and £55million of secondary equity.
The investment from Chrysalis, whose portfolio includes Klarna, Wise (formerly TransferWise), Starling Bank, The Hut Group and Graphcore, as well as wefox, the insurtech unicorn from Germany, will see Smart further grow its retirement technology platform offering in the UK, the US, Australia and the Middle East, with additional territories to follow.
Commenting on the investment, Richard Watts, Head of Strategy and Co-Manager of Chrysalis Investments said: “Smart is an innovator and continues to establish itself as the leading retirement technology platform provider globally. In just a few years it has disrupted the retirement savings industry, working with some of the world’s most well-known financial services providers to create a better way to save toward retirement and access funds during retirement.
“The world has changed. Just as companies like Wise and Klarna add huge benefits to their users via best-in-class financial technology, Smart offers user experience and technology to transform retirement for savers around the world. What Smart has achieved in the last 12 months alone was a real catalyst for our support and we believe that together we can help Andrew and Will achieve their global ambitions.”
Chrysalis Investments joins Legal & General, J.P. Morgan, the Link Group, Barclays and Natixis Investment Managers, the strategic investors to date in Smart.
Smart saw enormous growth in 2020, with assets on the platform growing by more than 160% to £1.8bn and the successful rollouts of the Smart platform with Bank of Ireland’s insurance arm, New Ireland Assurance, and with global insurance giant Zurich and the Dubai International Financial Centre in the Middle East, both at the height of the pandemic.
The co-founders of Smart, Andrew Evans and Will Wynne, said: “Chrysalis Investments joins us at a really exciting time. Smart’s achievements over the last 12 months are a testament to our amazing team, and also to the incredible resilience of both our operating model and the Smart platform that we deploy for large financial institutions and national governments. With close to a million savers on our platform already, we now have straight-line visibility through to well over five million savers on the platform within the next 24 months.
“We are very excited to welcome Chrysalis as they really understand the global scale of our vision and opportunity. Chrysalis’s investment adviser, Jupiter Asset Management, is a prominent leader in UK investment and Chrysalis itself has an astonishing track record of backing Europe’s most successful tech businesses. We are delighted to join the Chrysalis portfolio.
“We are very focused on our core goal: offering the very best technology to improve the lives of retirement savers around the world. We also recognise that there are tremendous opportunities for us to cost effectively deploy capital in M&A to bring members and assets onto our technology platform in the UK, the United States and beyond and we will be pursuing such opportunities with the energy those markets’ retirement savers deserve.”
The co-founders concluded: “The global retirement market is already a colossal $55trn of AUM. A huge wave of regulatory change is sweeping the globe, with governments shifting responsibility for retirement liabilities from their own balance sheet onto the mass market, via the workplace. Smart is the only proven, global, cloud-native retirement technology solution to this challenge. Our Platform-as-a-Service model powered by our single global retirement technology platform is perfect for financial services companies and governments trying to get to grips with delivering for their members and citizens as they save for retirement and beyond. Due to all of this, Smart is set to become the global operating system for retirement.”