Money management startup Plum adds stock trading

  • Plum, a London-based fintech that offers savings options, has added stock trading to its services.
  • The startup is partnering with Australian fintech unicorn Airwallex.
  • Users will be able to invest in US stocks through the Plum app.

Plum, a money management app, is launching stock trading amid a push by startups into wealth products.

Founded in 2017 by former Wise employee Victor Trokoudes and Alex Michael, the startup uses artificial intelligence to automate personal finances, such as saving, changing bills and investing, by connecting to bank accounts users.

Currently, Plum customers can invest in savings, pensions and ISAs, but will now be able to trade for free from £1 ($1.3) thanks to an integration with Australian fintech unicorn Airwallex, a company that provides payments and exchange services to other businesses.

This is part of a larger push by

fintech startups

to offer broader investment services to their users amid historically low interest rates, a trend known as wealth technology.

In the UK, at least 3.2 million people have downloaded a wealth management app since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, data from App Radar, an analytics platform, showed.

With Airwallex integration, Plum users in the UK and Europe can collect, hold and convert funds in multiple currencies to access approximately 500 stocks. The rise of trading-focused startups has made it easier for companies to get into trading products in recent years, marking a broader “platform” trend. For Plum, regulated in several jurisdictions, partnering with a specialist like Airwallex allows it to quickly deploy this new offer.

“We are extremely happy to be at this point because there were a lot of challenges ahead,” Victor Trokoudes, CEO and co-founder of Plum, told Insider. “A savings and investment proposition is how we see ourselves, so diversification is key. There aren’t many other players offering this product across Europe.” Plum’s main competitor, which has 1.5 million UK and European customers for savings and trading products, is challenger bank Revolut, valued at $33 billion.

The broader ecosystem of these offerings seems to be growing. Airwallex, valued at $5.5 billion, has pushed beyond its initial Asian base to Europe and previously provided similar equity trading services to Australian investment startup Stake. The terms of this agreement have not been disclosed, but most similar proposals make their margin by taking a small percentage of the exchange rate.

The company wants more tie-ups in EMEA and the United States.

“We are seeing strong competition in the region, but customers can use us for card issuance, payments and foreign exchange,” Jed Rose, managing director of Airwallex EMEA, told Insider. “Wealth management technology is an exciting area for sure and we have been investing growth capital in the region since our Series D.”

Plum has raised $46 million to date and plans to grow its team to around 200 employees with a larger team focused on wealth management products.


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