UK’s Plum Raises $3M To Grow AI-Powered Finance App

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Plum, an artificial intelligence (AI)-driven money management tool, announced that it has raised $3 million in additional funding that will be used toward growth goals including the company’s European expansion.

This round, which is a second part of the company’s $4.5 million raise over the summer, was led by EBRD and VentureFriends, both existing investors. Christian Faes, founder and CEO of LendInvest, also participated. Plum’s total raise to date is $9.3 million.

Plum was founded in 2016 by Alex Michael and former TransferWise employee Victor Trokoudes. In addition to the new funding, the company also launched its app for Android phones, which joins an existing iOS app and Facebook Messenger chatbot.

Trokoudes told TechCrunch that Plum now has 650,000 registered customers, with around 70 percent being active monthly users. The app’s AI capabilities predict what a user can afford to save by analyzing their bank transactions, and then helps them put money away each month. Users are able to open an ISA investment account based on themes, while another feature called “Splitter” allows its customers to divide automatic savings between Plum savings and investments.

“Contributing a regular percentage can help to build up your investments consistently and avoid getting tempted to put more in when funds are doing well and less when funds are down,” the company said in a blog post. “This is important because when funds are down and you invest, you acquire far more stocks for the same amount invested. This means if funds come back up again, your returns are far greater than if you had invested when the funds were already up (and visa versa).”

In addition, the company recently launched two new saving rules: the 52-Week Challenge, which helps users save £1,367 (about $1,750) over a year; and the Rainy Day Rule, which puts aside money whenever it actually rains.

“Saving rules use automation to help people save more effectively without overloading them with information,” said Trokoudes. “We have good evidence that this approach works: our automated round-ups feature, that we launched earlier this year has become a firm favorite among Plum users, boosting their savings by 50 percent on average.”