Home Business NewsBusinessBusiness Growth Plum returns to crowdfunding, aims for tripled valuation

Plum returns to crowdfunding, aims for tripled valuation

by LLB Finance Reporter
15th Sep 21 8:55 am

Plum, Europe’s ultimate money management app, will soon be offering customers a stake in the company as it launches a new customer-focused crowdfunding campaign. The top-rated, London-based app has experienced intense growth as people turn to technology to help manage their finances, and now intends to give its enlarged customer base a greater share in its success.

Plum has not given customers the chance to invest in the company since an oversubscribed round in 2019. This time, Plum is working with Crowdcube to engage potential shareholders, with the campaign going 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 $19.3m 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 & co-founder Francesco Simoneschi and ComplyAdvantage’s CEO & 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 £10bn. Since launch, Plum has grown from a Facebook chatbot to a highly intelligent app which has helped nearly 2m people across Europe to manage their finances.

2021 has been a big year so far for Plum, with registered customer numbers on track for 2.5m by the end of the year (3). 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 $900m 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 a £4.99 subscription tier, Plum Ultra, 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.

The company has simultaneously been bullish about its European expansion, launching in France, Spain and Ireland in the first half of 2021. 20% of new customers now come from outside of 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 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.

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.”

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