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Smart home comms startup Plume secures €260m investment from SoftBank

Communications startup and AI-powered cloud platform, Plume, which manages the data of more than a billion devices globally, has received an injection of capital worth $300m (€260m) from a new round of minority equity investments led by Softbank Vision Fund 2.

According to Plume, this investment brings the company’s valuation to $2.6 billion (€2.2bn) and comes shortly after another investment of $270 million (€233m) Series E funding in February, with $697 million (€603m) raised to date. This level of investment in a short space of time places it in “Unicorn Status” – a term reserved for fast-growing, super-funded startups.

Plume says that the adoption of its scalable cloud platform has “been extraordinary” and that this investment recognises that growth and reaffirms its category leadership and momentum.

According to a statement from Plume, SoftBank estimates there will be one trillion connected devices by 2025, but it says that CSPs have struggled with optimising for, and delivering, exceptional experiences for the modern consumer. Plume says it offers “a launching pad for a sustainable future in the digital-first economy with a suite of AI-driven, cloud-controlled services for residential customers and small businesses”.

Plume’s services include adaptive, self-optimising Wi-Fi, secure parental and access controls, AI device security, motion awareness, and back-end applications for CSPs, like predictive support tools and service, and network analytics. The data pipeline of these services and connected devices provides unique insight into the smart home and small business, the company claims.

The company adds that the latest investment will continue to drive research and development, sales and marketing, new partnerships, and acquisitions as Plume continues its global expansion and growth. It says it is looking for “more thinkers, dreamers, and doers to join the company”, with a focus on adding roles in software development, sales, product development, and engineering.

In the past two quarters of this year the startup says it welcomed more than 70 new CSP customers and partners, taking the total from 170 to more than 240. It says it averaged more than 2.2 million home activations each month, with a total of 13 million new active households added, and it added more than 350 million new devices to its global cloud platform. There are now 1.2 billion unique client devices managed by Plume-powered networks, the company says.

Plume’s founder and CEO, Fahri Diner, comments: “Our explosive growth over the last few years is explained simply: Plume has reinvented how services for smart spaces are curated, delivered at scale, and managed and supported. We’re moving beyond the limitations of the legacy approaches that couple hardware and services into a ‘box’—choking the CSPs’ ability to introduce and scale delightful new experiences to the consumers rapidly and effectively.

“Our vision and ambitions are perfectly aligned with SoftBank’s, and we are thankful for their support and confidence in Plume.”

Nagraj Kashyap, managing partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers and newest Member of the Plume Board of Directors, adds: “Through its innovative cloud data platform, we believe Plume’s consumer-first approach provides customers with reliable connectivity in their homes and beyond. We are pleased to partner with Fahri and the team to support their ambition of reinventing services for smart spaces globally.”

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