A platform billed as the ‘Michelin guide for homes’ has raised £6.6 million and launched a crowdfunding campaign.

Plum Guide features high-end properties for rent as holiday homes in over 500 destinations across 29 countries.

The funding round was led by Beringea with participation from existing investors Talis Capital, Hearst Ventures and Latitude. The startup is also offering its community of hosts, guests and fans a chance to participate in the round via Crowdcube. 

Plum Guide says the investment heralds the beginning of a global travel boom following COVID-19 and sharp trend towards alternative accommodation over hotels.

Its platform finds and awards the best homes in each market through a unique combination of data, technology and expert ‘home critics’. It says this alternative approach to separating the good from the great has been perfected over the past five years since launching in 2016. 

The brand is now the world’s most recommended homestay company, attracting a total of $57m in investment since launch.

“Plum Guide is the new global standard for quality in the travel sector,” said Doron Meyassed, founder and CEO. 

“The Plum Guide Award is to travel what the Michelin Star is to food, and what the New York Times Bestseller List is to books. 

“We are catering to discerning global travellers who simply expect the best. They want unique properties in exciting destinations for a homestay in comfort and style.”

The firm enjoyed three-times year-on-year growth prior to COVID-19. In August of this year, sales were at 90% of pre-pandemic levels, whilst international travel was only 26% recovered.

Karen McCormick, chief investment officer at Beringea, commented: “As consumers start making up for lost time, there is going to be vast demand for exceptional, reliable travel experiences. 

“The entrepreneurial experience of Doron and his remarkable team has ensured that the pandemic has simply driven the company from strength to strength, and its impressive performance as lockdowns have eased demonstrates that Plum Guide is a business strongly positioned to harness the ‘revenge’ travel boom.”