The based between London and Athens fintech company Plum has just closed another $3m investment by the Greek VC VentureFriends and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). With this new funding, the startup which is developing chatbots that help users save money is launching an Android application and expanding across Europe in 2020.
“Until now we have been focused on the UK but the Brits are not the only people who are struggling to save and grow their money. Our sights are firmly set on Europe. In Spain, for example, a quarter of the population don’t have any savings at all,” says CEO and co-founder Victor Trokoudes. Currently, the AI assistants of Plum that are available in Facebook Messenger and through iOS app, serve 650k people in the UK, and the founders are eyeing on the estimated 140m Europeans with no savings. With the recently launched Android app founders expect to increase its monthly users by 40%.
No money in the bank?
Founded in 2017 by Alex Michael and Victor Trokoudes, Plum develops personal savings assistant solutions. The product of Plum monitors the daily spending and automatically sets money aside that the user won’t need.
Currently, Plum connects to UK bank accounts and uses AI to analyze income and spending patterns. It calculates the perfect saving amount, which is set aside automatically every couple of days. This money can then be invested in themed funds, designed to suit both first-timers and experienced investors. Plum also looks for good deals on bills and utilities and allows you to switch in seconds.
Trokoudes estimates that Plum’s product could help a single user save £186k over a lifetime. According to his official statements, a new automated feature the company launched earlier this year helped the existing users increase their savings by 50% on average. “We recently launched two new intelligent saving rules: the 52 Week Challenge (which can help you save £1367 over a year) and the Rainy Day Rule (which puts aside money when it rains). Saving rules use automation to help people save more effectively without overloading them with information,” explains the cofounder. To further develop the features and make the saving assistants more appealing, the company has even hired Head of Behavioral Science – Max Mawby, who joins from the Government’s Behavioural Insights Team.
Quick growth, a huge market opportunity
The new funding brings the total funding in the London-and-Athens-based fintech to $9.3m. Earlier this year, Plum received the first $4.5m of the current round and is now closing it.
The deal is wrapping up a year of rapid growth for Plum in both London and Athens. The Athens office has tripled in size since April and there have been a number of senior hires in the UK too, which brings the team to a total number of 31.
With the new financial fuel, Plum will start launching across Europe in the next year. Based on their statements, it seems that the first markets outside the UK will be Spain. “The launch of Android is also a key step in the plans to bring Plum to users beyond the UK, due to Android’s wide market share in Europe and beyond. In Spain, for example, over 80% of smartphone users have Android,” reads the official release.
“We are at the beginning of a revolution to help people be better off. We’re excited to be offering a solution that so many savers across Europe really need and look forward to bringing it to them over the coming year,” states Trokoudes.