Travel planning app Orbzii acquires Pluto

Travel planning app Orbzii has acquired UK-based startup Pluto for an undisclosed sum. With the transaction, Orbzii will assume ownership of the Pluto mobile app, website and user community.

Founded in 2018 by Alex Rainey and Harry Williams, Pluto helps travelers organize itineraries, coordinate travel plans, and purchase and manage travel insurance.

In May 2021, it raised £200,000 on the crowdfunding platform Seedrs and became a B Company, meaning it has been certified by the non-profit B Lab as a company that has met certain social and environmental standards. Pluto has also been recognized for its diversity and inclusion efforts in the startup community.

In a letter to clients, the company’s founders say that Orbzii is “deeply aligned” with Pluto on the future of travel planning and that they are “excited to see how [Orbzii] continue to deliver on Pluto’s product vision.”

However, the letter continues: “This may not have been the original ambition we had for Pluto, but given the difficult years the travel industry has been through with the pandemic, we believe this is an excellent next step for our community. of users”.

Rainey and Williams add that the Pluto app “will continue to be used, and all plans and content from our community will not go to waste.”

In a separate post on LinkedIn, Rainey explained that Pluto, which in total has raised more than £1.3m in two crowdfunding rounds, was unable to raise new investment.

“I was really looking forward to raising our next round. It was honestly a challenging and exhausting five months on the fundraising road,” she wrote.

“I spoke with more than 200 investors, with 52 launch meetings and 10 second and third stage meetings. But there is no term sheet. The comments of the venture capitalists? That we had done “well, but not well enough.” The effects of the pandemic on our business were too severe.”


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