The European money management app Plum is set to offer its customers a stake in the company through the launch of a new customer-focused crowdfunding campaign.
The London-based app has experienced significant growth as a result of the public increasingly turning to technology to better manage their finances. Plum now intends to give its enlarged customer base a greater share in its future.
Plum has not given customers the chance to invest in the company since an oversubscribed round back in 2019. This time, Plum is working with Crowdcube to engage potential shareholders, with the campaign set to go live at the end of September.
The goal is to give customers another opportunity to invest in a company they care about, alongside the regular investments they make through the Plum app. By becoming an investor in Plum, customers will also be able to have an increased say in the future of the company at a time of critical growth.
The company aims for its valuation to triple, through a combination of crowdfunding and a raise via institutional investors. Plum has raised $19.3 million to date, with the last funding round in July 2020 with major investors Global Brain, the EBRD, and Venture Friends. Plum, which has been backed by LendInvest’s Christian Faes for previous rounds, will also be backed by Truelayer’s CEO and co-founder Francesco Simoneschi and ComplyAdvantage’s CEO and founder Charles Delingpole.
Plum’s co-founder and CEO, Victor Trokoudes, launched the company in 2017 when he was struggling to save and invest himself. Trokoudes previously was head of international at Wise, the fintech success story which recently floated on the London Stock Exchange at a valuation of £10 billion. Since its launch, Plum has grown from a Facebook chatbot to a highly intelligent app that has helped nearly 2 million people across Europe to better manage their finances.
2021 has been a big year so far for Plum, with registered customer numbers on track for 2.5 million by the end of the year. The company has seen 240% growth in assets under management year-on-year since June 2020, reflecting the boom in savings and investing during the Covid-19 pandemic. More than $900 million has now been stashed away by Plum customers across Europe since the company launched in 2017.
Sustainability has continued to be a key focus for the company with the launch of the new ‘Plum Ultra’ subscription tier in May. Increasing numbers of customers are trusting Plum to help them grow their money even faster with extra features and rules as part of the company’s three subscription tiers. The number of customers subscribing to a paid tier (Plus, Pro or Ultra) has tripled in the past year, resulting in revenue being up 189% year-on-year.
This increase in revenue has been fueled by the development of subscription-only features designed to help customers be better off over time. Major launches included the Money Maximiser, an automated money manager that shifts money between saving and spending to control budgets while maximising interest. The company also launched a Plum pension, where customers can consolidate their existing pensions in one place at a low cost and set money aside continuously for their retirement alongside their regular savings.
Elsewhere in the product, Plum expanded its offering of mutual funds with new ESG options, and has relaunched its in-app marketplace for switching bills. Likewise, Plum has also recently partnered with the online life insurance, income protection, and critical illness cover broker Anorak to bring long-term support to millennial savers on their financial journey.
The company has simultaneously been proactive about its European expansion, launching in France, Spain, and Ireland in the first half of 2021; with 20% of new customers now deriving from outside the UK. The company has been bulking up its physical presence on the continent too, growing the team in Athens by 70% in a year. A new European base was also opened in February in Nicosia, Cyprus with the aim of further developing its multi-asset investment offering across Europe.
As for the rest of 2021, Plum is set to launch its first stock investing product, which will allow customers to invest in individual companies they care about alongside their diversified mutual funds. A Plum card, currently in development by the company, will in the future offer subscribed customers a convenient digital spending method linked to the Money Maximiser. Plum aims to expand further in Europe in 2022, with plans underway to launch in Italy, Portugal, the Netherlands, and Belgium.
Speaking on the new crowdfunding opportunity, Plum’s CEO Victor Trokoudes comments, “Crowdfunding played a key part in Plum’s success in the early days. Back then, Plum was a simple chatbot, but we had a great community from the start who were keen to support us financially as well. The past few years have all been about validating our business model and realising our vision for a financial super app. Now, we’re ready to scale and the time feels right to share our success again with the people who made it possible – the customers. 2020 has been big and 2021 will be even bigger with our army of shareholders by our side.”