One of the London homes offered by The Plum Guide
London-based start-up The Plum Guide, billed the “Michelin Guide for Homes”, will use the funding to expand its service overseas.
A group of top tier investors from across Europe have participated in the Series A funding round, which saw the company raise £5.7m.
The London-based start-up has developed a unique 'Science behind the Perfect Stay' proposition, through the combination of data and expert human curation
Its Plum Guide Home Critics — a team of experts with backgrounds in hospitality, design and luxury travel — ‘test’ the top rated homes from over 25 different booking platforms.
Homes are then 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 company is now aiming to expand its service, which started off in London, across the globe. The first city it expands into will be Paris with others to follow.
Founder Doron Meyassed said: “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.”
The Series A funding round was led by Octopus Ventures, which follows a seed round led by LocalGlobe in 2016. Other investors included BGF Ventures and the founders of Secret Escapes, ZOOPLA, and Love Film.
Simon Andrews, portfolio manager at Octopus Ventures, said: “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.”
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.”
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