- Plum, a London-based fintech which 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 shares via Plum’s app.
Plum, a money-monagement 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 finance, such as saving, switching bills, and investing, by linking to users’ bank accounts.
Currently, Plum customers can invest in savings products, pensions, and ISAs but now will be able to trade fee free from £1 ($1.3) through an integration with Australian fintech unicorn Airwallex, a company which provides payments and FX services to other businesses.
It’s part of a wider push fromto offer broader investing services to their users amid record low interest rates, a trend known as wealth-tech.
In the UK, at least 3.2 million people have downloaded a wealth app since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020, indicated data from App Radar, an analytics platform.
Through the Airwallex integration, Plum users across the UK and Europe can collect, hold, and convert funds in multiple currencies to access around 500 stocks. The rise of trading-focused startups has made it easier for companies to bolt on trading products in recent years, marking a broader “platformization” trend. For Plum, regulated in multiple jurisdictions, partnering with a specialist like Airwallex allows it to roll out this new offering fast.
“We’re extremely happy to be at this point because there were plenty of challenges to getting this done,” Plum CEO and cofounder Victor Trokoudes told Insider. “A savings and investment proposition is how we think of ourselves so diversification is key. There aren’t many other players offering this product across Europe.” The main competitor to Plum, which has 1.5 million UK and European customers for both saving and trading products, is $33 billion-valued challenger bank Revolut.
The broader ecosystem for these offerings looks to be growing. Airwallex, valued at $5.5 billion, has been pushing beyond its initial Asian base into Europe, and previously provided similar stock- trading services to Australian investing startup Stake. The terms of this deal have not been disclosed, but most similar propositions make their margin by taking a small percentage of the currency exchange rate.
The firm wants more tie-ups across the EMEA region, and the US.
“We’re seeing a lot of competition in the region but customers can use us for card issuing, payments, and FX,” Jed Rose, general manager at Airwallex EMEA, told Insider. “Wealth tech is an exciting space for sure and we have been putting growth capital into the region since our Series D.”
Plum has raised $46 million to date and says it plans to grow its team to around 200 staff with a larger team focused on wealth products.