March 21, 2024

Pensions provider Smart makes layoffs as it closes Series E round

Existing investors Fidelity International Strategic Ventures and Chrysalis Investments were involved in the £37.1m Series E extension

UK fintech Smart has raised a £37.1m Series E extension and made layoffs as it pushes for profitability. 

The startup, which provides a pension management platform for employers, issued the new shares earlier this month, according to Companies House filings taken from Beauhurst. The capital came from existing investors, including Fidelity International Strategic Ventures and Chrysalis Investments. Smart has confirmed the raise to Sifted. 

Smart also confirmed it made layoffs. While the company declined to comment on the numbers involved, its headcount fell from 558 employees in December 2023 to 450 in March 2024, according to LinkedIn data. 


“Smart earlier this year made changes to reduce its cost overhead, in line with the wider financial technology ecosystem,” a company spokesperson tells Sifted. 

Closing its Series E

The fresh capital raise completes Smart’s Series E and takes the total funding raised by the company to £336m, according to Dealroom. Its cap table includes JPMorgan, Barclays as well as Legal and General Capital. 

It raised the first tranche of its latest round in May last year when it brought in £75m — smaller than the £100m it was reported to be raising five months earlier. Smart declined to comment.

The startup’s Keystone product provides a workplace pension scheme and pension management platform to governments and corporates across the UK, Ireland, US, Middle East and Asia.

Smart manages £10bn worth of pensions globally — in the UK that includes 1.4m people across 70k employers, according to the company. 

It was one of nine UK pension scheme providers that signed the Mansion House Compact in July last year — an agreement to invest at least 5% of their default funds into the nation’s startups and fast-growing companies by 2030.

Smart tells Sifted it expects to hit group profitability by the end of this year after its UK business achieved profitability in 2022.

In 2022, Smart made a loss of £58m — up on the £51m it lost between July 2020 and December 2021, according to the company’s latest annual accounts. Revenue also increased from £43m to £57m over the same two periods.

Kai Nicol-Schwarz

Kai Nicol-Schwarz is a reporter at Sifted. He covers UK tech and healthtech, and can be found on X and LinkedIn