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AI savings startup Plum launches crowdfunding campaign




By Ryan Weeks on 3rd July 2017


Automated savings firm seeks £700k via equity crowdfunding platform Seedrs.

 

Personal finance manager Plum has launched a convertible fundraising campaign on Seedrs. London-based commuters may well be ahead of this news, as the campaign is being widely advertised on the London Underground.

 

The startup is seeking to raise £700k via a convertible note, offering investors a 20 per cent discount on its next fundraising round. More than half of the target amount has already been raised. The money will be used to fund growth and expansion plans.

 

Plum describes itself as a “personal savings butler”. Users interact with the service through an artificial intelligence powered Facebook chatbot, which is chock-full of witticisms and emojis. The technology connects to a user’s bank accounts and analyses his or her spending habits in order to generate bite-sized savings automatically, based on what that user can afford to save.

 

Plum is also partnered with Octopus Energy, Habito and RateSetter. If the service identifies that a user is being ripped off by a utility provider, or on a bank overdraft or loan, it will automatically ask whether he or she would like to switch providers. Octopus provides cheaper options in the green energy space, while Habito can help users to find a first mortgage or remortgage through the use of technology.

 

Plum’s users can also earn 3 per cent per annum by having their accrued savings invested through the peer-to-peer lending platform RateSetter – which facilitates loans to consumers, businesses and property developers.

 

Plum raised $500k about 8 months ago in a round led by Silicon Valley accelerator programme 500Startups. The company launched in January 2017 with a waitlist of around 5,000 users, many of which could be described as "millennials". Its user numbers have grown at a rate of 25 per cent month on month since then.

 

Victor Trokoudes (pictured), co-founder of Plum, was previously head of international at the well-known fintech firm TransferWise.

 

“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,” he said.

 

“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.”

 

You can learn more about Plum by tuning into episode 9 of Millennial Money Matters.

 

 

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