Viewing entries tagged
Series B

The Plum Guide raises £14m to expand its collection of the world’s best vacation rentals and immediately announces six new cities to launch this April

  • Talis Capital leads investors in Series B round, with participation from Latitude, Hearst Ventures and existing investors Octopus Ventures.

  • Funding will enable roll out to 6 new cities this April – Barcelona, Berlin, Copenhagen, Lisbon, Madrid, and Tel Aviv

  • Six additional US cities are scheduled to launch in summer 2019.

  • Exclusive booking platform has achieved three times year-on-year growth for three years running.

  • New cities will be added to London, Los Angeles, Milan, New York, Paris and Rome.

London, 21 March 2019 - The Plum Guide has raised £14m from some of Europe’s leading early-stage investors to support its ambitious rollout to 12 new cities this year. Known as the “Michelin Guide for Homes”, The Plum Guide differs from mass market booking platforms by selecting only the top 1% of properties in any city to feature on its site. By the end of 2019 it expects to offer almost 12,000 verified homes in the most sought-after cities for holiday rentals, with 100 new hires being made to support its growth ambitions.

The latest funding round is led by Talis Capital, with participation from Latitude and Hearst Ventures, as well as Octopus Ventures – who led the Series A funding round.

The Plum Guide uses hospitality industry experts to vet every property in person and applies a scientific Plum Guide test - which covers 150 points from proximity to cafes and transport, to speed of WiFi - when selecting which homes to feature. Since launching in London in 2015, The Plum Guide has achieved year-on-year growth of three times revenues, for three years’ running. In 2018, it added homes in five new cities to the platform and saw repeat bookings jump 27% after it opened in Paris, its second location after London. The key to its success has been customer referrals, which drive a quarter of all bookings.

“We are on a mission to build a marketplace of the world’s most beautiful holiday homes. 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%,” Doron Meyassed, Founder and CEO of The Plum Guide, said.

The Plum Guide was founded to solve the problem of inconsistent quality, encountered by anyone booking a vacation rental online. Most open marketplaces rely on peer-to-peer review systems to judge quality, but standards vary hugely in reality. The Plum Guide instead uses a rigorous testing approach that aims to guarantee consistent quality every time.

It uses a proprietary algorithm to find the highest rated and best located homes in a city. Expert hospitality critics from The Plum Guide then visit each home to interview the host and meticulously test the property. Ultimately, only 1 out of every 100 properties in each city is invited to join the collection.

The approach has resonated with a lucrative customer segment of mature affluent individuals, who make up the majority of Plum’s 1.3 million global user base. “Most rental platforms are trying to get as many people as possible to use their site. We are clearly targeting a highly discerning group of affluent professionals that live in global megacities, love to travel and value great design, quality and locations,” says Meyassed. “Previously they have stayed away from the open marketplace booking platforms, which they consider too risky compared with the reassurance that a hotel provides.”

The Plum Guide has innovated relentlessly on meeting the needs of this customer, through a unique mix of expert property curation, impartial and trustworthy vetting processes and outstanding customer service through its team of MatchMakers. It has achieved customer satisfaction scores that outperform industry peers in a sector notorious for over-promising but under-delivering.

Matus Maar, Managing Partner and Co Founder at Talis Capital, said: "The consumer market has entered into an age of curation where data, ratings and reviews need to be carved into useful information to support buying decisions. We see huge value in businesses and teams that create a competitive advantage by being strategically data driven. The Plum Guide has something very special and customers are already showing amazing loyalty for its hand-picked and meticulously-vetted holiday rentals. In Doron, we have also found a determined, highly ambitious and creative entrepreneur with a track record of building a successful business that competes at the very highest levels.”

Megumi Ikeda, managing director Hearst Ventures, said: “The Plum Guide appeals strongly to the affluent, discriminating traveller as we have seen in its impressive growth in the last three years. Endorsement from professional critics and experts has always been worth having and holiday accommodation is no exception to this rule. As The Plum Guide adds more cities, it will become even more useful to the customer base who are already convinced by its rigorous approach to vetting properties.”

George Henry, partner at LocalGlobe, said: ““Travel and accommodation continues to be a fast-growing market but the supply has become incredibly fragmented, especially in the p2p market. As consumer travel has always suffered from a very low NPS, we believe that a differentiated brand offering a more hands-on service powered by expert curation and data is going to continue to deliver a very unique experience. We are excited to be able to follow on our seed investment in The Plum Guide, which has a keen understanding and eye for detail of what is possible as it rolls out its highly-selective, highly targeted product across new cities and countries.”

Zihao Xu, Early Stage Investor at Octopus Ventures, commented: "The more cities The Plum Guide is in the better it will be for all its customers. We're excited to continue supporting Doron and the team in taking the company truly global, and building out their vision of what an iconic hospitality brand in the 21st century should be."

- ENDS -

Contact: sayula@burlington.cc

About The Plum Guide: The Plum Guide is a curated collection of the best holiday rentals available in leading international cities. Listing in London, Los Angeles, Paris, Milan, Rome and New York. The Plum Guide rigorously tests and handpicks only the cream of the crop of rental properties so that customers need never worry about their travel accommodation. For beautiful holiday homes, see: www.plumguide.com

About Talis Capital: Talis Capital is a venture capital investment firm that takes smart money from some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs and business people and invests it strategically in early stage technology companies with global potential. Talis has invested over $500m worth of transactions since 2009 and the portfolio includes Darktrace, Onfido, iwoca, Pirate Studios, Luminance, Ynsect and Oh My Green. Focused on building long-term partnerships, Talis leverages its network to give some of the world’s most innovative startups opportunity to thrive. For more see www.taliscapital.com.

About Hearst Ventures: Hearst Ventures is a global investment group that makes strategic investments in fast-growing companies in the media and technology sectors. Since its initial investment in Netscape in 1995, the group has grown to become one of the most active and successful corporate venture funds, with more than $1 billion in strategic investments in companies including BuzzFeed, E Ink, Hootsuite, Pandora, Roku, Via and XM Satellite Radio. Visit http://www.hearst.com/ventures.

About LocalGlobe: LocalGlobe is a UK-based venture capital firm that focuses on seed investments. Seeding ambitious UK founders since 1999 including Transferwise, Zoopla, Improbable, Citymapper, Algolia and Robinhood. Visit https://localglobe.vc/.

About Octopus Ventures: Octopus Ventures, part of Octopus Group, is a leading European venture capital firm that helps pioneering entrepreneurs change the world by taking ideas from inception to international scale-up. Where there is change there is huge entrepreneurial opportunity, particularly in three key areas; industry, money and health. We’ve refined our focus towards these specialisms to discover the next generation of innovators. Octopus Ventures is headquartered in London and New York, with Venture Partners in San Francisco, Shanghai and Singapore who offer exclusive insight and advice to our portfolio companies looking to expand into new markets. Octopus Ventures has supported over 70 outstanding entrepreneurs that are leading the way in disrupting their industries. Companies backed in recent years include allplants, Elvie, Depop, Big Health, graze.com, Eve, Magic Pony, Secret Escapes, Sofar Sounds, Swiftkey, Swoon Editions, tails.com and Zoopla Property Group. Octopus is a group of companies that are experts in start-ups, renewable energy and healthcare infrastructure. Octopus Group currently manage more than £8.5 billion on behalf of our customers. Octopus Energy, Octopus Healthcare, Octopus Investments, Octopus Labs, Octopus Property and Octopus Ventures are all part of Octopus Group. Visit octopusgroup.com.

Price f(x) Raises €25 Million in Series-B Funding Round Co-Led by Digital+ Partners and Bain & Company

Price f(x) Raises €25 Million in Series-B Funding Round Co-Led by Digital+ Partners and Bain & Company

MUNICH / NEW YORK – December 19th, 2018 Price f(x), the global leader in cloud pricing software, has raised €25 million in Series B funding. Leading the round are Digital+ Partners, a leading European B2B technology growth investor, and Bain & Company, one of the world's top management consulting firms. The Series A investors, Prague-based Credo Ventures and London-based Talis Capital, also participated in the round.

Established in 2011 in Munich, Price f(x) provides a modular SaaS solution for Price Optimization, Management (PO&M) and Configure-Price-Quote (CPQ) for enterprises of any size, based on the latest in native cloud architecture. The company currently serves over 80 global, blue-chip B2B and B2C customers across a variety of industries, including Robert Bosch, SchneiderElectric, Owens-Illinois, Iron Mountain and Sonoco. Price f(x) has also developed a strong partner ecosystem with leading global technology, consulting and integration providers—including Bain & Company and SAP—enabling a best-in-class service offering, which helps customers realize a fast time-to-value on their pricing projects.

“Price f(x) has become the leading SaaS pricing solution provider on the market through its customer centric approach and by offering a feature-rich, highly flexible pricing tool that is also risk free and fast to implement,” said Marcin Cichon, CEO and co-Founder of Price f(x). “Our success is based on the continued satisfaction and loyalty of our customers. This new funding will allow us to help even more businesses to thrive by further expanding our existing platform capabilities and also introducing a new product offering for the SME market segment.”

“We have been very impressed by what Marcin and his team have achieved to date and see a huge growth opportunity ahead for Price f(x). They have built a world-class product, driven by a relentless customer focus, and we believe they are set to become the global market leader in pricing software. We are proud and excited to co-lead this round with Bain & Company and support Price f(x) in this next stage of growth”, said Axel Krieger, Founding Partner at Digital+ Partners.

Earlier this year, Bain & Company and Price f(x) announced a partnership to develop the Bain Pricing Navigator, offering Bain & Company clients a powerful, industry-leading software tool. The solution enables customers to continuously assess and adjust pricing based on their company’s performance by leveraging real-time dashboards, proprietary insights and templates, as well as integration with CRM and ERP systems.

“For most companies, pricing is the single most effective lever to boost earnings,” said Ron Kermisch, Bain & Company’s global pricing leader. “Yet many companies leave money on the table because they do not set the best price or ensure customers actually pay the price they have determined. Bain & Company sees investing in Price f(x) as a great opportunity to help Price f(x) to become the de-facto standard in pricing and with that to be also the best-of-breed competitive weapon for Bain’s clients, to stay at the cutting edge of pricing.”

Over the last decade, Bain & Company has developed a deep understanding of pricing strategy and a proven track record of results, working with B2B and B2C companies globally across industries. A Bain & Company survey of more than 1,700 pricing decision-makers found that 70 percent of companies believe pricing is a top management priority. However, more than half of respondents conclude that management has insufficient visibility into pricing decisions. Furthermore, fewer than 20 percent of the companies surveyed have appropriate tools and dashboards to improve pricing decisions.

Ondrej Bartos, Co-Founder & Managing Partner at Credo Ventures said, “Since investing in Price f(x) alongside Talis Capital in 2016, it’s been exciting to see the company close in on their vision to become the leader in price optimization software solutions. The energy and resilience demonstrated by Marcin and his team is what makes truly successful companies and we are grateful to be part of their journey.”

Price f(x) is a member of the Bain Alliance Ecosystem – a network of best-of-breed partnerships with complementary tool, technology, and service providers that accelerates delivery of breakthrough client results.  Through the Bain Alliance Ecosystem, Bain & Company clients have access to relevant new capabilities, enabling faster assimilation of new ideas, skills, and ways of working.

Editor's note: To arrange an interview with Mr Kermisch, contact Katie Ware at  katie.ware@bain.com or +1 646 562 8107.

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About Price f(x)

Established in 2011 in Germany, Price f(x) AG is the provider of a full suite of price management and CPQ SaaS solution based on latest native cloud architecture, offering broad and flexible support to the entire price management closed loop cycle of Price Strategy, Controlling, Setting and Realization. The solution is suitable for B2B and B2C as well as for any industry, any size of business and geographical location. Price f(x)’s vision is to remain the leading SaaS pricing and CPQ platform provider through offering easy to use, fast to implement, flexible to adapt, risk free and inexpensive, comprehensive solutions. Price f(x)’s business model is entirely based on the satisfaction and loyalty of its customers. For more information please visit:  www.pricefx.com.

 

About Digital+ Partners

Digital+ Partners is a leading technology growth equity investor focused on European and US technology companies with €350 million assets under management. Digital+ aims to support ambitious entrepreneurs build global technology companies, providing them with strategic advice and long-term financial support to help them define and execute their growth plans. The fund focuses exclusively on B2B technology companies and leverages a deep corporate network to help portfolio companies access new markets and build new partnerships. For more information please visit: http://www.dplus.partners

 

About Bain & Company, Inc.

Bain & Company is the management consulting firm that the world's business leaders come to when they want results. Bain advises clients on strategy, operations, information technology, organization, private equity, digital transformation and strategy, and mergers and acquisition, developing practical insights that clients act on and transferring skills that make change stick. The firm aligns its incentives with clients by linking its fees to their results. Bain clients have outperformed the stock market 4 to 1. Founded in 1973, Bain has 57 offices in 36 countries, and its deep expertise and client roster cross every industry and economic sector. For more information visit: www.bain.com.

Import.io Raises Series B Funding to Expand Industry-Leading Web Data Integration Platform

Import.io Raises Series B Funding to Expand Industry-Leading Web Data Integration Platform

Next Generation Solution Fuels Growth of $5B Web Data Integration Spending

Los Gatos, Calif. – Dec. 18, 2018 – Import.io, the leading web data integration solution provider, today announced it has closed a $15.5 million Series B funding round to accelerate global growth and expand its product offerings to meet the growing needs of enterprises.

Talis Capital, a London-based venture capital firm, led the investment with participation from existing investors IP Group, OpenOcean, Oxford Capital and Wellington Partners. This capital infusion comes at a time when companies are urgently trying to become “data-driven,” as a key part of digital transformation. Alternative data sources such as the web are crucial to gaining a competitive advantage. The web is the single largest data source on the planet, but traditional solutions for gathering that data are complex, unreliable, time intensive and poor quality.

With 90 percent of the world’s data having been created in the last two years, demand for data-driven insights leveraging web data continues to escalate. Total spend on web data integration is estimated to hit $5 billion in 2019 according to Opimas Research.

“Businesses around the world are losing trillions of dollars due to lack of timely access to high-quality data. In fact, IBM estimates that poor-quality data costs businesses in the U.S. more than $3 trillion annually,” said Gary Read, CEO of Import.io. “Import.io is committed to providing timely, high-quality data with little-to-no customer resource requirements. We empower our customer base of more than 800 companies to make business-critical decisions based on the data we provide every day; and we back that up with an aggressive service-level guarantee.”

“When we saw what Import.io was doing, we immediately understood the importance and recognized the game-changing capabilities of the solution,” said Matus Maar, co-founder and managing partner, Talis Capital. “We spoke to multiple Import.io customers who explained how important Import.io had become to their business and raved about the solution, support and quality of the data provided.”

In the 2018 IDC Business Analytic Solutions survey, IDC estimated that data professionals spend approximately 75 percent of their time gathering and cleaning data and only about 25 percent finding insights from the data. Import.io’s solution empowers data professionals to prioritize securing the insights and analytics that drive business innovation and competitive advantage.

This funding announcement highlights a momentous few years for Import.io. In 2016, Import.io appointed Read as CEO to scale the business, given his accomplished career of profitably growing companies in emerging industries – highlighted by Nimsoft's $350 million acquisition by CA Technologies in 2010. Since Read has taken the helm, Import.io has experienced three years of growth. In 2018 Import.io launched hundreds of new product capabilities and attracted more than 300 new customers across the financial services, retail and consulting industries, among others.

For more information on Import.io, please visit: www.import.io.

About Import.io

Import.io delivers the world’s data directly to enterprises, fueling business insight and competitive advantage. The Import.io highly scalable Web Data Integration solution extracts, prepares and integrates high-quality comprehensive web data into customers’ analytics platforms and business applications. The company delivers data to more than 800 enterprise customers from millions of web sources. Headquartered in Los Gatos, Calif., with offices in Denver and London UK, Import.io was founded in 2012. For more information, visit www.import.io

About Talis Capital
Talis Capital is a unique Venture Capital investment firm funded by a group of ultra successful and strategic high net worth entrepreneurs. Focused on backing emerging software technologies, Talis has completed over $500m worth of transactions since 2009 and the portfolio includes Darktrace, Onfido, iwoca, Pirate Studios, Luminance, Threads, Oh My Green to name just a few. Talis concentrates on building long term partnerships and leverages their exclusive investor network to create opportunity. The team looks for innovative high growth companies with sector defining ventures and sustainable business models.

www.taliscapital.com