Behind the Investment: How Plume is Transforming Your WiFi Experience
For me, the early stage of the COVID pandemic was a blur of fear and uncertainty, and the quarantine forced everyone in my household to move their entire lives online. We had four people on Zoom constantly for school and work. iPhones and Netflix were streaming entertainment simultaneously. Everything on our network was choking and key calls were compromised. We started rationing our device usage internally because we were our own network admin and the cable operator just couldn’t help.
Then I found Plume, a company leading the way in revolutionizing how we use WiFi and our devices. Plume was founded on the premise that a device will only ever be as smart as the network it’s connected to, and that existing smart home services were sorely lacking.
As a consumer whose network just couldn’t keep up with the new demands that COVID brought, I was hooked immediately. Plume offers a comprehensive suite of smart home services that enables customers to get the most out of their devices.
Need extended range in your home and adaptive and self-optimizing WiFi to make sure you always have the strongest signal and best experience possible? Check.
Looking to manage your devices directly without having to call up your cable company whenever there’s an issue? Check.
Excited about value-add features like advanced AI-driven cyber-security, secure access management and parental controls, and motion awareness? Check, check, and check.
Plume solved the issues that I had, but separate from the value prop to the consumer, their product suite is complemented by a big-data-driven back-end operations platform for CSPs (Communication Service Providers). For the CSPs, Plume offers deep visibility into the home, real-time and predictive customer support tools, and comprehensive customer experience analytics to drive customer satisfaction and retention.
As a potential investor, my excitement in the company only grew further. When I first heard the pitch from Co-founder & CEO Fahri Diner, all I could think was “Wow…This is special, we need to lean in now.” In the telecom industry, where change happens slowly, Plume was powering ahead at a blistering speed, to the extent that multiple CSP customers that we interviewed called Plume their “Innovation Arm.” In just a few years they had:
- Landed lighthouse clients with some of the largest CSPs in the world, including Comcast, Liberty Global, and J:COM.
- Developed advanced AI/machine learning capabilities backed by proprietary algorithms and a substantial data moat leveraging network data from 20 million active households and over half a billion active devices powered by the Plume Cloud.
- Co-founded an open-source silicon-to-cloud framework platform called OpenSync that will be the hub for future value-add applications to be built into the smart home ecosystem.
- Built out robust partner networks with everyone from channel distributors that could reach the long tail of CSPs to chipmakers like Qualcomm who are integrating OpenSync technology directly into their hardware.
- Meaningfully improved consumer experience and customer retention, to the point where churn was reduced by up to 30%, call-in volume dropped by ~51% because consumers didn’t have as many problems, and NPS jumped by up to 60 points.
As we talked with the Plume team, it became apparent that my excitement to work with them was matched by their excitement to work with us. They have their eyes set on big targets, and wanted a partner who could match their vision of grand achievement and also had a history of IPO success and a bench of experienced operators that could help them navigate the waters as they rapidly scaled. Insight brought to the table more than 45 successful IPOs, our Onsite team of 70+ experts that are dedicated to helping our portfolio companies grow, and the same kind of drive and passion for what Plume has built that has animated Fahri and the Plume team to aim for the fences.
Today, Insight is thrilled to announce that we have invested $270M into Plume’s Series E, and I could not be more ecstatic to be part of their journey. As I look forward and take a macro view, Plume is pushing the boundaries for what is possible in WiFi and smart home services, and transforming the way that every person connects to the internet around the world.