Our Founder's Story
Plum Guide's founder and CEO, Doron tells us about the science behind the perfect stay, our journey through Covid and some exciting crowdfunding news
We founded Plum Guide to solve a problem I had experienced myself - the hours of stress and anxiety that go into choosing somewhere to stay on holiday, only to be disappointed by the outcome. It’s a disheartening experience almost all of us can all relate to.
One day I went on a vacation to Tel Aviv and I was completely and unexpectedly blown away by the home I booked. I asked myself why it couldn’t always be like this... Why does booking a stay away need to feel like such a lottery?
Determined to deliver an experience for travellers that would never leave them disappointed, we brought together a group of architects, travellers, interior designers and psychologists with a single objective: to figure out the secret ingredients behind what makes a perfect stay.
Cactus Culture, one of the homes in Plum Guide's Tel Aviv collection
What we learned, and continue to perfect through every piece of customer feedback, we call our ‘Science behind the Perfect Stay’. It’s this knowledge that is behind the Plum Test, now in its 5th iteration: a set of 150 criteria, which assesses everything from ‘measurable’ criteria like WiFi speeds and decibel levels to ‘soft’ criteria like the design aesthetic of a home. Just 3% of homes make it through this process to win the Plum Guide Award.
Since launching, we’ve put over 500,000 homes through the Plum Guide vetting process and developed a customer experience that’s returning industry-leading NPS scores.
Since launching, we’ve put over 500,000 homes through the Plum Guide vetting process
While the COVID pandemic had consequences on the travel industry that we could have never anticipated, we used the opportunity to crack scalability and open new domestic holiday markets. We learned how to scale supply in a more capital efficient way — cutting the cost of adding a home by 80% and 5xing the speed at which we are adding them. We have added more homes in the last 12 months than we have in the previous 4 years of Plum Guide.
And it’s paying off! We have grown 5x in the last 10 months. And we are spending a fraction of what we spent on marketing pre-pandemic. Most excitingly, we’re recovering a lot faster than international travel. In August we were 90% recovered vs 2019, while international travel was just 26% recovered.
The world can’t wait to travel again and we want to help make returning to travel the amazing experience that people need and deserve right now.
At Plum Guide, people and community are at the heart of everything we do. We believe in the power of the human touch. To receive the Plum Guide Award, homes are rigorously vetted by a highly professional human critic. We also really value the connections formed between our hosts and our bookers - who are often very like-minded. Our hosts, our bookers, our critics, our staff and our investors all form part of our cherished community.
To receive the Plum Guide Award, homes are rigorously vetted by a highly professional human critic.
We want to offer everyone who loves Plum Guide the opportunity to share in our growth and future success. That’s why we’re inviting you, our community, to join in our latest $9m funding round and own shares in Plum Guide alongside our world-class institutional investors.
We are backed by some of the world’s top VCs and angel investors including Beringea, Talis Capital, Octopus, Hearst Ventures and Latitude (Local Globe), and now you can invest alongside them. Between them, they have helped make successes of the likes of Deliveroo, Cazoo, Zoopla, TransferWise, Depop, Tide, MOO, BuzzFeed, Tails.com, Graze, Depop and Secret Escapes to name a few.
With millions of investment already pledged, I’m excited to see what the next few weeks of our crowdfunding campaign and the future holds for Plum Guide. To join us as an investor you can register here.