Plum heads to Seedrs for crowdfund raise
03 July 2017 | 4059 views | 0
Plum, the first Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered Facebook chatbot that helps consumers manage their personal finances today announces an equity crowdfunding raise on Seedrs to fund aggressive growth and expansion plans.
The disruptive startup says Fintech’s increasing penetration hasn’t yet reached the mass market but Plum is set to change that.
Plum has undertaken the ambitious task of helping millennials save money in a way they barely notice. The innovative chatbot connects securely to users bank accounts via Facebook messenger and AI technology learns their spending habits and automatically saves small amounts of money every few days. The savings are put into an account with an FCA-regulated e-money provider, Mango Pay, and individuals manage their money via Facebook’s Messenger platform.
The crowdfund on Seedrs falls just 8 months after the disruptive AI business raised its $500,000 seed round led by Silicon Valley accelerator programme 500Startups’, with a number of other notable angel investors including the founder of onefinestay and ScanSafe participating in the round.
The company launched in January 2017 with a waitlist of 5,000 users since which user numbers have been growing at a rate of 25% month on month. In the seven months since launch, Plum has seen its monthly savings grow by 50% each month. The personal savings chatbot is now on track to exceed £20 million in savings for millennials by the end of year one.
Victor Trokoudes, Co Founder of Plum and former Head of International at TransferWise comments: “I saw how TransferWise reduced the friction for sending money globally and provided consumers with a cheaper, superior product. When I left TransferWise in 2016 I felt all Fintech verticals were disrupted and that the natural next real Fintech innovation was to unify these disruptions into one complete offering which is where Plum comes in. There’s been lots of talk about the personal savings glut in the UK, confirmed by troubling stats. Deloitte estimated the savings gap will reach £350bn by 2050. It’s a huge problem. We help Plum users to microsave on average £150 a month in a way they barely notice.”
Plum’s founders recognised that consumers have long been overpaying on a raft of financial services and products, facilitating abnormal profits for banks and financial services. They are committed to bringing a holistic financial assistant to the mass market by help users to save and earn interest on their savings. Plum will by tell you if you are being ripped off by your utility provider, if you’re overpaying on a loan or bank overdraft and will simply ask you if you would like to switch to save money. All a customer has to do is reply ‘yes’.
This is facilitated through partnerships with energy provider Octopus which gives Plum users the chance to switch to a green energy provider and lower their utility bills by around £250 a year, and Habito which helps Plum customers to find their first mortgage or remortgage opening up the possibility for savings in the thousands a year. Users are also able to earn a return of 3% via Plum’s partnership with P2P lender Ratesetter. More partnerships are set to be announced this summer.
Whilst it is Plum’s AI algorithm that powers users automatic savings, the user can also determine how much they save by adjusting Plum’s saving mood from normal to ambitious, a feature that 30% of Plum users have activated, indicating the ambition of consumers to save more.