Women-founded and focused superannuation fintech Verve Super has been acquired by the parent company of Simon Sheikh’s Future Super, just five months after raising $3 million in a pre-Series A.
Verve cofounder and CEO Christina Hobbs announced news of the deal on Wednesday saying it gives the five-year-old startup the ability to leverage Future Group’s expertise in investment management, administration, and compliance. She’ll continue to run the business with cofounder Alex Andrews as a subsidiary of Future Group.
“In a rapidly consolidating industry, the move is a clear win-win. And Future Group is a natural home for us given its B-Corp status, focus on ethical investing and equality, and existing strong feminist workplace policies,” she said in a LinkedIn post.
“We’ll also continue to tailor our offering to women. But we’ll be leveraging . At the same time, we’ll be looking to extend our feminist lens across the superannuation offerings of the entire Future Group and advocate for fairer retirement outcomes on behalf of a much larger membership base.”
It’s been a long and close relationship between the two funds from the outset with Future Group’s investment arm, Future Super Investment Services, acting as investment manager for since 2018 as well as previously owning a 20% share in the female-founded fund. Hobbs and Andrews previously worker at Future Super. The terms of the M&A deal were not disclosed.
Verve Super was founded in 2018, hoping to close the gap between the superannuation savings women and men have at retirement. Male investor portfolios are worth an average of $667,000, compared to $413,000 for women.
The fintech went to raise $2.6 million in 2021 with backing from several prominent female investors, including AI Media’s Deanne Weir; human rights lawyer Dalit Kaplan; Without Fear or Farvour founder Pam O’Connor; and Jess and Stef Dadon, founders of vegan shoe company TWOOBS, and Carol Schwartz.’
In July it raised another $3 million in a pre-Series A from impact-focused family office Alberts, at the same time launching Verve Money an ethical investing app for women offering three ethically-curated portfolios and a pledge to invest a minimum of 20% in climate solutions.
“Launching an investment app is a logical next step for us, we’ve had members asking us for this since the day we launched Verve Super. It’s exciting to be thinking about how we can partner with women across their wealth building journey,” Hobbs said.
Verve Money investors can choose between with different goal time frames, risk levels and anticipated returns. The portfolios include impact-focused alternative investments including a minimum
Future Group CEO and founder Simon Sheikh called it “a full circle moment” for both funds, with Verve female members already benefiting from a drop in members fees to 0.541% pa.
“Both Verve and Future Group share a commitment to ethical investing, with both the Verve product and the Future Super product strictly adhering to a principle of not investing in fossil fuel companies,” he said.
“This alignment makes Verve Super’s integration into Future Group a natural fit, further reinforcing both funds’ dedication to benefiting members’ best interests while investing for a sustainable and equitable future”.
Future Group also acquired smartMonday from Aon in 2021, and last month gobbled up Guild Super Services with $2.8 billion in funds under management (FUM). Future Group now has $13.4 billion in FUM, and more than 383,000 members.
Sheikh launched Future Super nearly a decade ago and in August this year, raised $15 million in a Series C backed by Up Bank’s Dom Pym, Ellerston Capital and Understorey Ventures.
Hobbs, said: “At a time of increasing consolidation within the superannuation industry, we’re delighted to have taken this strategic move to ensure the long-term success of Australia’s first superannuation offering to be designed for women continues within the Future Group structure.”