AI-powered savings chatbot Plum raises $4.5 mln investment

Source: Plum

Plum, the world’s first AI-powered personal money management chatbot has achieved 433% user growth in one year, growing from 75,000 to 400,000 users, and has attracted financing of $4.5million that brings total investment in the firm to $6.3 million.

Since the funding round, which was led by venture firm VentureFriends and the EBRD, Plum has expanded its engineering teams in London and Athens and continues to further develop its multi-platform strategy. Today, the fintech startup is making its chatbot available as a free download on iOS and will be launching it on Android in the coming months. Plum will be one of the first UK-based companies to offer both iOS and Messenger, allowing users to choose the most convenient platform for interacting with its money assistant, truly bringing interactions to where the customer is.

Plum’s pioneering technology brings together AI and behavioural economics to help people manage their finances, save effortlessly and make smarter decisions automatically. The intelligent chatbot is designed to foster better financial behaviour via a three-pillar strategy that incorporates savings, investments, and also spotting when users are wasting money on overpriced deals and underperforming financial products. Plum predicts that it will save users £100 million in 2019 and that the average person in the UK can be better off by over £2k simply by saving and optimising bills. This grows to £186k better off over a lifetime if people invest just £500 a year.

“We’re making an irreversible change in finance, putting consumers firmly back in charge of their own money. While the traditional banking system remains geared towards keeping people in debt, Plum empowers users to easily stay on top of their finances - helping them spend less, save more, switch out of overpriced deals, and invest better than they have before,” says Plum CEO and co-founder Victor Trokoudes.

In October, Plum launched the UK’s first theme-based investment product, which offers a range of sector-based options including technology, emerging markets and ethical companies. Building on the feature’s success, Plum last month introduced ‘Splitter’. With Splitter, people can now continuously invest and split their automatic savings between Plum savings and investments, selecting the percentage amounts to go into each pot from 0-100%. Users can change how it is set up at any time or turn the splitter off by tapping the 'savings only' button.

A key mission for Plum is enabling people to make better decisions regarding saving. More than a quarter of Europeans (26%) have no savings*1 with the UK ranking below average with 29 percent of Brits having zero savings. For young people, the numbers are even starker, with more than half (53%) of 22-29 year-olds in the UK having no savings*2 according to the Office of National Statistics. Meanwhile those who do save are bearing the brunt of rising inflation with interest rates on 99 percent of savings accounts failing to beat the consumer price index*3.

Plum will use the funding to increase its headcount in both its London and Athens offices, to focus on its multi-platform strategy and to expand into new markets.

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