We have been thinking of setting up special purpose vehicles (SPVs) to invest in growth rounds of Fund I portfolio companies as massive winners like Carbon Health, BillionToOne, and Insider mature just to name a few. If you want to learn more about SPVs, you can start here.
Plum is an automated savings and holistic wealth-accumulation platform targeting the UK and European markets. The company recently closed the first tranche of its £16M round and we were fortunate to participate with a $1.7M investment majority of which came from the recently set up SPV backed by our Fund I and Fund II LPs.
Moving beyond a savings app to become an intelligent bank
Plum connects to the user’s bank account to help the customer save continuously via automated savings and reduced bills and expenses and invest continuously. Plum is working towards becoming a more comprehensive financial services platform, expanding from its current intelligent bank account savings and wealth growth features to stock and crypto trading, and cash management, as well as debit card offerings that can help it serve a larger portion of the population and financial services ecosystem.
Plum is vying to become a user’s financial control center, in a way that goes far beyond the first generation of personal finance management apps and bank account aggregators. The company is built on the belief that automation of saving, spending, and investing drives financial success.
Mass market mindset positions Plum apart from its competitors
Plum is competing against wealth management and brokerage apps, as well as neobanks offering adjacent services. Plum differentiates itself by its broad target customer profile and non-competitive appeal (everyone wants to save money). Moreover, Plum enjoys easier customer onboarding and better money movement capabilities as it does not replace current accounts but rather connects to them resulting in a strong customer acquisition profile with lower costs. This has helped Plum become a customer magnet, as it became the app with the most downloads in the wealth management space.
Plum doubled its userbase over the past year, reaching 1m registered users that have collectively saved more than £600M. The solid ARPU expansion achieved through the launch of additional products, led to positive unit economics and very impressive payback dynamics when benchmarked against competitors. Plum aims to not only launch new investing and cash management services but also fuel its European expansion over the next few years. In fact, in just 3 months, Plum has acquired more users in Europe than it did in the UK in 19 months.
More SPVs to come…
500 Istanbul I currently has 1 unicorn, 3 soonicorns (expecting over the next 2 quarters 🤞), and 5 other companies that are valued at $100M+. We will continue to launch SPVs for our Fund I companies over the next year since the fund is fully deployed. With a zero-cost structure for the participating investors, SPVs are a great way to engage with our investors and pull in more capital into the ecosystem.