By John Reynolds on Tuesday 21 July 2020
The AI-powered app is also launching new features, including interest on savings with Plum.
Plum, the Artificial Intelligence-powered savings app, has completed a $10m (£7.9m) funding round, which includes a multi-million pound UK government investment and is also introducing new product offerings.
Plum, which is located in London and Athens, is to use the funds, which have been raised during Covid-19, to help European expansion.
The funding round was led by existing Plum investors, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and Global Brain, the Japanese venture capital company.
Further funding came from Athens-based venture capital firm VentureFriends, which was matched by £2.5m funding from the UK government’s Future Fund scheme, which was set up in May to help startups battle through coronavirus.
To date, Plum has raised $19.3m (£15.2m).
Like several of its rivals, Plum uses AI to calculate what users can afford to save by scrutinising their bank transactions, making micro-savings on their behalf. Other components to Plum include allowing users to invest and bill switching.
On the back of coronavirus, which has led to many people saving more, Plum has updated its offering by allowing users to link all their accounts to Plum, as opposed to before when Plum only accessed a single linked account.
This change, says Plum, which has more than 1m customers in the UK, will mean that customers will have an overview of their savings, spending and investments in one place.
The second change is that Plum is now offering its savers interest on money saved for the first time, offering 0.6 per cent AER on its easy access account.
Unlike some fintechs, the pandemic has not proved problematic for Plum, as consumers saved more and looked to save money by switching providers.
Money from the raise will be used to launch in Spain, which has a dearth of savers, and France by the end of 2020, said Plum.
It is also hoping to raise its headcount, which is currently more than 60 people across London and Athens, upping headcount to 80 by the end of 2020.
“This fundraising reflects investors’ trust in our mission, particularly at a time when saving money and optimising spending is crucial. Having secured this investment, innovation through user experience and product development are vital to our brand.”
He adds: “Shockingly, high street banks punish their long-term loyal customers by giving them a minimal interest rate, but we are rewarding ours for their loyalty by offering one of the most competitive interest rates on their savings.”
Naoki Kamimaeda, partner and Europe Office representative at Global Brain Corporation, said that “Plum has a very unique position and very bold ambition to be a partner of individuals to save more money and manage their financial life in an easier and more effective manner".