The startup American Plume, specialized in services for the smart home and with operations in Spain for three years, has closed a new round of financing for 270 million dollars. The operation, which gives the company a value of 1.35 billion dollars and turns it into a unicorn, has been carried out by the renowned venture capital fund Insight Partners, which has invested in more than 400 companies around the world and has raised more than $ 30 billion in capital commitments.
Insight Partners thus joins other important investors in the young company, including Comcast Cable, Foxconn, Charter Communications, Liberty Global Ventures, Qualcomm and Samsung. Plume has raised a total of $ 397 million since it was launched seven years ago in Silicon Valley.
The company, which works with more than 170 internet operators and providers around the world (including Vodafone Spain), provides these companies with a SaaS platform (software as a service) so that they can offer their domestic customers a set of services controlled from the cloud, such as the self-optimization of Wifi for the whole home, cybersecurity with artificial intelligence and control of IoT devices. In addition, telecos are offered network analysis panels and real-time and predictive customer service tools, among others.
How does Plume technology work? When operators deploy their solution on their customers’ router, all home devices connect to the Plume Cloud through open source software and, from there, the startup Take control of Wi-Fi resources and all the devices you have connected to at home. “In this way, we guarantee the end customer a powerful Wi-Fi connection that reaches the last corner of the house, without interference or communication interruptions. And, in addition, we offer a battery of services (cybersecurity, motion detection, face-to-face security, parental control …) that are managed with Plume Cloud, our cloud controller based on data and artificial intelligence that runs the largest software-defined network in the world. world, with more than 740 million connected devices ”, explains Miguel Santa Cruz, head of Plume in Spain and Vice President of Sales for EMEA and APAC of the company.
With the new funds, the company, which is behind the Super Wifi service offered by Vodafone Spain, plans to continue developing its technology, add more applications and services, continue its rapid international expansion and hire employees for all its offices (including the Spanish one) to strengthen its technical and sales and marketing teams. Some of the money will also go to develop some deals that the company has sealed with partners such as Akamai.
According to Santa Cruz, the Spanish market is one of the priorities for Plume because it is the EU country with the most kilometers of fiber deployed. “More than 80% of the Spanish population has access to fiber optics, above the European average that is below 30%. This makes Spain a preferred market full of opportunities to continue investing and expanding ”, adds the manager, who says that they are currently in talks with several Internet providers in Spain and“ we hope to close a couple more contracts this year ”.
Santa Cruz highlights the key role Plume plays for operators. “These companies can no longer differentiate much in their offers for connection speed, so the only way they have is either to lower the price to their customers, which hardly leaves them margin, or they offer them an offer with more added value,” that gives them scope to raise the rate ”.
The manager also highlights how in Europe what has already happened to internet providers in the US is happening now. “There the operators have been getting out of the content business, because customers directly contract platforms such as Netflix or HBO, and they have only been left with connectivity, so they are looking for an alternative offer to video and content, and we help them with that strategy ”.
The company does not offer data on its turnover, but it does indicate that the bulk of its business is still in the US although it is growing very fast in Europe. “This year we expect to grow more here than in the US, and it will be something that will continue for years to come, because in Europe digital home services are one step behind the US.”
Plume is present in multiple European countries, in addition to Spain. They operate in Portugal with the NOS operator, in the United Kingdom with Virgin, in Belgium with Voo, and in Germany, Italy and Malta with other small operators. Soon they will also land in Holland and Poland.
Santa Cruz is very optimistic about the future of the startup, which he says the pandemic has benefited his business. “Having several members of a family teleworking and studying online for Covid-19, a trend that will continue even partially in the future, is leading operators to prepare to offer better services to domestic customers.”