Funding round led by the ProVen VCTs with participation from existing investors Talis Capital, Hearst Ventures and Latitude (LocalGlobe)
Plum Guide today announces that it has secured a $9 million cash injection in a funding round led by the ProVen VCTs, with participation from existing investors Talis Capital, Hearst Ventures and Latitude. The funding will accelerate Plum Guide’s rapid climb towards boasting the definitive list of the world’s best vacation homes; now with properties in over 500 destinations across 29 countries.
Building on this significant backing from leading institutional investors, Plum Guide is offering its community of hosts, guests and fans a chance to participate in this round via a crowdfunding campaign with Crowdcube. The crowdfund invites those who have a passion for travel and who expect perfection from their homestays to join world-class institutional investors excited by Plum Guide’s distinctive vision; to create a world-class trust mark for travel.
The overnight stay market globally is estimated to be worth $1.2tn. But booking the perfect stay can feel like a lottery, with 15m+ homes online to choose from and customer reviews — often misleading or untruthful — as the only guide.
Plum Guide finds and awards the best homes in each market through a unique combination of data, technology and expert ‘home critics’. This alternative approach to separating the good from the great — ‘the Science behind the Perfect Stay’ — has been perfected over the past five years since launching in 2016. The brand is now the world's most recommended homestay company, attracting a total of $57million in investment since launch.
By offering a curated alternative to mass-market booking platforms and selecting only the top 3% of properties in any destination, the company has achieved industry-leading NPS scores, attracting a mature, urban, affluent consumer segment who expect an exceptional experience every time.
Growth pre-Covid was impressive, at 3x YoY. More impressive still is how the business is outpacing international travel recovery in a post-Covid world. In August, sales were at 90% of pre-pandemic levels, whilst international travel was only 26% recovered.
This latest funding round signals the anticipated travel boom in 2022 and beyond, amongst global travellers who are shunning hotels in favour of alternative and more personal accommodation.
Founder and CEO Doron Meyassed says: “We’re proud to have built a brand that guests love, with industry-leading NPS due to our unique approach to curation at scale. Plum Guide is the new global standard for quality in the travel sector. The Plum Guide Award is to travel what the Michelin Star is to food, and what the New York Times Bestseller List is to books.
“We are catering to discerning global travellers who simply expect the best. They want unique properties in exciting destinations for a homestay in comfort and style”
Karen McCormick, Chief Investment Officer at Beringea, the investment manager of the ProVen VCTs, commented: “As consumers start making up for lost time, there is going to be vast demand for exceptional, reliable travel experiences. The entrepreneurial experience of Doron and his remarkable team has ensured that the pandemic has simply driven the company from strength to strength, and its impressive performance as lockdowns have eased demonstrates that Plum Guide is a business strongly positioned to harness the ‘revenge’ travel boom.”
Zihao Xu from Octopus Ventures commented: “After almost two years of being cooped up at home, people are desperate to get out again. As international travel bounces back following COVID there will likely be a flight to quality. Holiday travel will no longer be taken for granted, and I suspect people will be less willing to put up with the risk of booking accommodation that ends up being dismal and ruining their precious time away. Plum Guide is perfectly placed in this environment. Customers have always loved Plum’s service (as shown by its industry leading NPS), and over the last 18 months Doron and the team have shown top class resilience in weathering the storm and improving both the service and the business fundamentals yet further. We have worked with the Plum Guide team for almost four years and are more excited than ever about the future of this special company.”
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Find out more about the ProVen VCTs’ annual shareholder event, which featured insights from Beringea, the investment manager, the boards of the two funds, as well as several of the companies from the portfolio
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