UK: London-based curated rental home collection Plum Guide has announced that it has closed a $9.9 million [almost £6.6 million] funding round led by venture capital firm Beringea.
Existing investors Talis Capital, Hearst Ventures and Latitude also participated in the investment round.
In addition, Plum Guide is offering its hosts and guests the opportunity to participate in the round via a crowdfunding campaign on the Crowdcube platform.
Plum Guide says it will use the investment to accelerate its expansion plans in a bid to become “the definitive list of the world’s best vacation homes”. The company currently has a presence in more than 500 destinations in 29 countries around the world, including the UK, New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Rome and Milan.
As a definitive collection of the world’s best holiday homes, Plum Guide independently reviews all the homes available in a destination and selects the top three per cent to feature in its collection in a meticulous curation process. For guests, the collection is a shortcut to the best homes, while for onboarded property managers, it is an opportunity to access the mature and discerning customer type Plum Guide specialises in.
To be considered for listing with the platform, property managers must meet the strict Plum Guide standard.
Plum Guide founder and CEO, Doron Meyassed, told UKTN: “We’re proud to have built a brand that guests love, with industry-leading NPS [net promoter score] 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,” he added.
Beringea chief investment officer Karen McCormick said: “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 said: “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,” added Xu.
The latest round takes Plum Guide’s total investment to date to $57 million since its launch in 2015, which includes a $14 million Series B funding round in March 2019.
In November last year, the company secured taxpayer backing in the form of a convertible loan through the UK Government’s Future Fund, which was set up to support ailing startups during the pandemic.