Fintech company Cushon, creators of the world’s first net zero pension, announced in February 2023 that it is being acquired by the NatWest Group. Cushon aims to build a more financially-prosperous future for its customers, having helped more than 500,000 people save over £1.8bn towards retirement, first homes and more since launching in 2017. In addition, Cushon partners with UK employers, including many FTSE companies, to develop healthy savings habits on a greater scale.

The NatWest Group is to acquire an 85% majority shareholding in Cushon with its existing management retaining 15%. This will provide an exit opportunity for Seedrs investors, with the earliest investors being able to realise up to a 5x return (before adjustment for tax relief). Seedrs will be distributing just under £7m in returns to Seedrs investors as a result.

This is the 49th exit for Seedrs investors, the second in 2023, with exits from Seedrs, Stagedoor, Fiddlesticks, Swogo and Zeigo over the last 12 months.

Cushon (named Smarterly during its initial raise) raised £1.6 million from 538 investors in 2018 via the Seedrs platform. This was a great success given that its initial sought investment was £600k. In 2019, Cushon returned to Seedrs for a second public campaign, raising an additional £2.5 million from 762 investors.

Hear from Phil Hollingdale, Co-founder of Cushon, as he talks about how Cushon’s campaigns on Seedrs helped the business accelerate growth and connect Cushon with an engaged community of investors.

Phil regarded the second public raise on Seedrs as being “easier” for Cushon because:

  • The business had more traction as it was up and running, meaning it had multiple proof points for success.
  • Investors who participated in both the first and second fundraising campaigns gave new investors confidence to invest in the second campaign.

Following our conversation with Phil, we sat down with one of the first investors in Cushon via the Seedrs platform, Nic Lenz. Nic was introduced to Phil at a Seedrs pitching event and was instantly drawn to the business mission of Cushon (then Smarterly). As an experienced angel investor and advisor to early stage fintech and cleantech businesses, Nic has a portfolio of around 20 companies. Hear about what the Cushon exit means for Nic in the video below.

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