Plume raises $300m to develop communications services with AI

Personalised comms services provider claims cash injection will enable it to continue its global expansion and cements its position as the cloud controller of the world’s largest software-defined network

In a financial round that the company says will bring its valuation to $2.6bn, with $697m raised to date, Plume has announced a $300m Series F minority equity funding round led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2.

The personalised communications services provider says the investment will continue to drive research and development, sales and marketing, new partnerships, and acquisitions as Plume continues its global expansion and hyper-growth.

SoftBank estimates that there will be one trillion connected devices by 2025, but says communications service providers (CSPs) have struggled with optimising and delivering exceptional experiences for the modern consumer. Plume aims to address this problem by offering a suite of artificial intelligence (AI)-driven, cloud-controlled services for residential consumers and small businesses.

The services include adaptive, self-optimising Wi-Fi, secure parental and access controls, advanced device security, motion awareness, and back-end applications for CSPs, such as predictive support tools, and service and network analytics.

In the last two quarters since its previous round of equity investment by Insight Partners, Plume has added more than 13 million new households, over 350 million new managed devices to its global cloud platform and has acquired more than 60 new CSP customers. Currently, more than 240 cable multiple system operators (MSOs), telecommunications companies and fixed wireless access operators of all sizes worldwide use Plume technology and services.

The company has enjoyed a strong second half of 2021, benefiting from the work-from-home movement and consumers’ appetite for hyper-connectivity and personalised smart services. In July 2021, Plume said it had passed a major milestone with more than a billion unique client devices managed by its cloud controllers globally, and in September 2021 it announced a partnership with UK cable operator Virgin Media to bring to the UK smarter Wi-Fi with advanced device security, in-home motion detection and advanced controls, including for households in areas not yet covered by the provider’s broadband network footprint.

It said the new finance will continue to drive research and development, sales and marketing, new partnerships and acquisitions, and the company plans to continue its rapid product, revenue, customer, channel and geographic expansion, as well as grow its employee base across all its offices worldwide.

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

As part of the new round, Nagraj Kashyap, managing director at SoftBank Investment Advisors and head of the consumer practice for SoftBank Vision Fund 2, will join Plume’s board. “The pandemic has dramatically accelerated the adoption of digital services, increasing our dependence on smart devices,” said Kashyap. “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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