The Plum Guide has completed its Series A fundraising with a group of Europe’s top tier investors, having achieved runaway growth since launch last year.
The company has developed a unique “Science behind the Perfect Stay” proposition, through the combination of data and expert human curation, which has resonated strongly with consumers. Plum Guide Home Critics — experts with backgrounds in hospitality, design and luxury travel — ‘test’ the top rated homes from over 25 different booking platforms. Homes are scored on soft criteria like design features and sociability, as well as hard criteria like the height of the shower head and the strength of the WiFi speeds, with over 500 data points collected on every home. Only 1% of homes pass The Plum Test and are listed on the platform, with a stringent process for feedback and retesting to ensure homes and hosts retain their high standards.
The London-based startup is aiming to do more than provide discerning consumers with a much-needed filter in a saturated marketplace & establish the definitive seal of quality in the homestay sector. The Plum Guide is looking to decode the criteria for a great stay for each customer type: as the company collects more data points on customers’ preferences and feedback, it can utilise the datasets it holds on both customers and homes to accurately ‘matchmake’ guests with their dream homes.
“We are on a mission to build a marketplace of the world’s most beautiful holiday homes. For real. I say for real, because this isn’t some vague qualitative ambition. We mean it. We are taking a systematic and obsessive approach to vetting every single home on the planet and accepting only the top 1%. For a home to be accepted it has to pass 150 criteria. These criteria, which we call “The Science & Art Behind The Perfect Stay” represent what we believe are the ingredients of the perfect stay. They have been devised by collecting over 541,000 data points across 1,082 London homes (to date) on what makes this all-elusive perfect stay. We’re incredibly excited about using this funding to roll out Plum internationally and doubling down on optimising The Science and Art Behind the perfect stay,” says founder Doron Meyassed.
Simon Andrews, Portfolio Manager at Octopus Ventures commented: “Plum Guide has identified a niche market with growing consumer demand and we are proud to have led their Series A funding round. The emerging luxury hospitality brand has already achieved exceptional sales growth since its launch in February 2016 and with huge potential for the company to expand internationally, we were delighted to come on board to support them.”
Zihao Xu from Octopus Ventures is also taking a seat on Plum Guide’s board. He added, “Tapping into consumers’ preference of homes over hotels, Plum Guide’s offer of memorable and unique hospitality options in more cities and countries will see more consumers benefit from the team’s innovative approach.”
Harry Briggs, from BGF Ventures, added: “As more and more sophisticated travellers want to stay in homes rather than hotels, the world is crying out for a truly independent arbiter of the finest homes… Just as people hunt down a Michelin-starred restaurant or an Oscar-winning movie, Plum Guide’s customers can book with the confidence that they’re going to stay in a beautifully designed home in a lovely part of town, with no unpleasant surprises – whilst the Plum homeowners can at last stand out from the mass of average or mis-sold properties that flood home rental sites. We’re hugely excited about helping Plum Guide expand to more of the world’s most visited cities, so that discerning guests can choose a Plum Guide home wherever they travel.”
George Henry from LocalGlobe said: “The Plum Guide’s innovative use of data at the heart of an expert curation process is exactly what is required to build a meaningful & consistent proposition on the new travel landscape and has huge scope as they scale. We’re very proud to have been a partner of theirs since inception and this latest round of funding is yet more evidence that Plum can be a market-moving player in this important and fast-growing space.”