Plume, a startup improving WiFi experience, raises $300m from SoftBank, others

Photo: Bernard Hermant/Unsplash.com

Plume, a Silicon Valley-based startup aiming to give consumers a better WiFi experience, on Tuesday said it raised $300 million mostly from SoftBank Group Corp Vision Fund 2, and is now valued at $2.6 billion.

The latest funding round comes only eight months after Plume raised $270 million. It has roughly doubled its valuation since then.

Plume also has extended its technology to 35 million homes from 22 million around the world in that period, said co-founder and Chief Executive Fahri Diner.

Plume’s service is offered through communications service providers like Comcast, which use the technology platform to improve the internet experience, including tools for parental control, expanding WiFi range in the home and cyber security of connected devices.

Some 1.2 billion gadgets from phones to laptops to fitness bikes and smart light bulb are on the Plume platform, the company said.

“Unlike perhaps many of their other investments, their day job is very much related to what we do,” Diner said in a phone interview about SoftBank’s large mobile and telecommunications business and why he took their money when he still had funds.

SoftBank contributed 90% of the $300 million investment, Diner said.

While the investment is purely financial, both sides expect further strategic cooperation.

“I think already we are seeing the fruits of that,” Nagraj Kashyap, managing director at SoftBank Investment Advisors, who is joining Plume’s board, told Reuters. “We made a substantial number of introductions that are hopefully going to lead to even more business for Plume.”

The funding will help with potential acquisitions and drive research and development and the fast-pace growth, Diner said.

Reuters

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.