59. The Plum Guide

Company name: The Plum Guide

Website: https://www.plumguide.com/

Founders: Doron Meyassed, Imran Arshed, Alex Lee and Arif Meherali

Business: The Plum Guide is a business which rates the top 1% of holiday homes advertised on the top 25 booking sites, sharing those that meet its strict criteria.

Founded in 2015 and later launched at the start of 2016, The Plum Guide provides a detailed list of the very best places to stay in London, Paris, New York, Los Angeles, Rome and Milan.

The start-up conducts a “Plum Test” on every home it evaluates, only accepting 1 in every 100 homes to give its customers the cream of the crop in holiday homes. This impressive start-up has gained support from some of the biggest investors in Europe, and has raised £14 million in funding.

The Plum Test, Plum Guide states, is “the world’s most gruelling hospitality test”, with each potential home undergoing a rigorous vetting and selection process. Firstly, The Plum Guide finds places to stay with the best reviews throughout the top 25 booking sites. The company then send over a professional home critic to evaluate the home in person.

This critic assesses both the host and the place in great depth; making sure the host values and follows the 7 Plum Service Standards whilst also scoring the place on everything and anything from pillow type to WiFi speed. After evaluation, a Selection Committee then decide whether to include the home into the Plum collection.

The company was inspired by a trip the founders took to Tel Aviv, expecting the worst when booking a holiday home last-minute that had a questionably low amount of reviews. However, when arriving at their destination the group were shocked at how nice both the apartment and the host was. After this experience, the group were determined to find more of these hidden gems and share them with the world.