The Plum Guide, a London-based travel tech startup, has raised £5.7m in Series A funding in a round led by Octopus Ventures.
Investors in the round also included BGF Ventures and the founders of Secret Escapes, Zoopla and LoveFilm.
Today’s news comes after the business closed a Seed round led by LocalGlobe in 2016.
The Plum Guide lets customers book the top rated homes from more than 25 booking platforms.
“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,” said founder Doro Meyassed.
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The funding will be used to roll out Plum internationally.
Simon Andrews, portfolio manager at Octopus Ventures, added: “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 will join the company’s board. He said: “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, said the firm was “hugely excited” about helping Plum Guide expand to more cities.
“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,” concluded Briggs.
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