Alumni Q&A: Victor, Plum co-founder and CEO

Plum team photo

Wise alumni

My journey at Wise has been so critical whilst starting my own business. In fact, people still joke with me about bringing up Wise so much! There are so many things about the ways of working that I’ve adapted into my own  business. Most importantly, how people need to be empowered to get things done. Rather than rules and micromanaging, you need to find ways to give your employees autonomy to thrive.

The importance of being mission driven is also something I took from my time at Wise. It’s important to have a mission that you and your employees stand behind. At Plum, ours is to make sure our customers don’t get ripped off by bad deals and we work towards it by empowering them to manage their money in an optimal way. It’s all about providing a convenient, seamless experience to your customers that takes the stress out of managing money.

Current role: Co-Founder and CEO of Plum

When did you join Wise and how long did you work here?

I joined in 2013 and worked at Wise for almost 3 years.

Why did you join Wise?

I used to be a foreign exchange trader, so I knew all about getting ripped off when moving money across borders. I was looking for a startup with a great mission and to do something I really believed in.  The Wise mission really resonated with me and I knew I could learn a lot and build something meaningful. 

What did you do here?

I led our Banking team and focused on taking Wise into new markets. It was incredibly exciting and during my time there we launched our product in China, India, Japan and Brazil, to mention a few! The goal was to make sure Wise was available everywhere our customers needed us. I also got to build the team from scratch which was a huge learning experience.

What does your business do?

Plum is an AI assistant to help you make the best use of your money. Our mission is to make the act of saving an automated, seamless process you don’t have to think about. Our customers can integrate their bank accounts with us and Plum will take care of the rest, making sure they save what they need and invest disposable income whenever possible. We want to make sure our customers don’t get ripped off by their service providers, so Plum also helps by suggesting optimal providers for our customers’ needs, making the switch to better value alternatives within the app.

What is it like to be an entrepreneur? 

I remember looking at Kristo and Taavet, the founders of Wise, and thinking if they can do it, I can too. But it’s definitely harder than I expected. Don’t get me wrong, it’s very fulfilling, but there are a lot of challenges to overcome. I’ve learned that hiring the right people is the most important thing you do. 

Any tips for those thinking about starting their own business?

If you have a business idea, you should go for it. It’ll be a rollercoaster and full of learnings on the way but a great journey. It’s easy to overthink as you can never fully plan for all the things you have to do. So you just need to get started and figure it out along the way.