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Plum design and deco start-up raises € 5 million in seed funding led by Brent Hoberman’s firstminute Capital
Oct. 7, 2021
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● For its second year of operation, Plum will make 10M€ in direct sales in 2021
● The Paris based startup plans to expand to Europe from 2022
● Plum wants to become the leading interior design creative platform
Paris, FRANCE, October 7th 2021 - Plum, the design and deco startup aiming at developing a high-end fully catered interior design services platform, announced today that it has raised € 5 million in seed funding led by firstminute Capital, with contributions from Partech, and several business angels, including Luke Sherwin, co-founder of Casper and Block Renovation, and Adrien Montfort, co-founder of Sorare. The funds will be used to expand Plum’s service offering and kick-off its geographic expansion, starting with Germany and the UK.
Launched in 2019, by two like-minded sisters, Plum provides easy-to-access decor inspiration - from ideation to execution for both consumer and business clients - via a convenient, online one-stop shop. Capitalising on an increasingly growing sector, expected to be worth US$ 255.4 billion globally by 2027, Plum recorded a noteworthy € 2.7 million in revenue in 2020, and is set to reach a € 10 million sales target by the end of this year.
“We are on a mission to unleash our customers' creative potential, by providing them with meaningful and inspirational DIY and interior design content, top-of-the-line products, and expert advice and guidance; ultimately, we want to be the creative partner of choice when it comes to interior design,” says Plum co-founder, Amandine Julia. “ Today marks a turning point for Plum, allowing us to accelerate the rollout of our product and services offering, as well as kick off our international expansion. We’re thrilled to have firstMinute Capital onboard. They come with a solid track record of helping consumer businesses scale into global success stories. Combined with Partech, who are known for scaling best-in class French startups globally, we’re backed by the ideal partners to deliver on our strategic ambitions.”
Plum, which currently has 15 employees, will utilise the funding to launch its service and product offering in Germany in 2022, followed, in due course, by the UK market. As such, the company is looking to recruit 15 to 20 talented local or remote team members in the coming months. Available positions comprise various senior management roles as well as a vacancy for a European expansion lead, who will focus on successfully solidifying a presence in additional countries across the continent going forward.
This specific round will also ensure that Plum is well-positioned to systematically grow its existing product portfolio, while developing its interior design service offering. This will allow it to become a benchmark platform across the industry, meeting all the home design project requirements. Services will range from conceptualisation and advisory, through an expert consultation service, to delivery and execution, enabled by certified Plum service providers and installation companies.
Customers can also choose from premium renovation materials and accessories, developed by Plum, to personalise any living space: fronts for IKEA cabinets, accessories like handles and credence, and very soon wall paint, splashbacks and light switches. Products are sourced locally and sustainably, with fronts and facades being manufactured in France and Portugal using oak wood from French forests, while door handles are made in the North of France.
Aspiring designers can also take advantage of Plum’s immersive content, available on its Instagram account (boasting nearly 90,000 followers) and website, to find inspiration and practical guidance. The overall aim is to create a dynamic and interactive customer experience (a Pinterest meets made.com) that leverages the power of technology and aesthetics.
According to Brent Hoberman, General Partner at firstminute Capital, Plum’s exponential growth speaks to its perfect market fit. “We are constantly on the lookout for founders who are authentic in who they are and what they want to achieve. Amandine’s authenticity and her focus on creating solutions to problems she has experienced first-hand, makes her the perfect CEO for the business. At Plum it is all about the vision and partnering with customers, usually through life's firsts - a new house or a new baby. This start-up is a premium DIY alternative to retail that empowers everyone to be an interior designer.
The pandemic and subsequent regulations have encouraged more and more customers, spending most of their time at home, to invest in making their surroundings more appealing and comfortable. Plum grew its revenue by 20% amidst full lockdown, a testimony to its relevance in the market.
The company initially saw a lucrative opportunity in the kitchen market, in particular, a segment usually neglected by other decor and furniture players, before starting to cater for other spaces such as bathrooms and bedrooms. Plum primarily appeals to two main consumer profiles: those who have just purchased a new home or apartment and established customers who are looking to manage their own DIY renovation projects. In addition, Interior designers represent approximately 25%-30%of Plum’s client base.
Prior to this round, Plum received a € 500 000 investment last year through private angels, Nicolas Rohr an Frédéric Mugnier from FAGUO , and Kima Ventures, one of France’s most active early-stage investors.