The Pluto January update

With 2020 already well underway, the holidays and New Year's Eve feels like a lifetime ago. Lots of holidays are being booked and lots of people are going away, which means it’s a busy start to the year for Pluto. But, busy is just how we like it.

There’s a lot to announce this month, so read on below to find out more about:

  • Our focus for the next 6 months: A quick refresher on our product strategy and a big announcement about something we're building
  • Welcoming our new Pluto team members
  • Announcing two exciting partnerships with some of the biggest money management apps for millennials

Our focus for the next 6 months

We wanted to update you on where the team at Pluto will be focusing most of our energy and focus over the next 6 or so months. As many of you will know, we never had the intention of stopping at travel insurance. Our mission is to help people make the most of their travels, and our approach for doing this is by creating useful tools that take the pain out of planning for a trip.

With this in mind, we've spent a lot of time over the past couple of months deciding on the next steps as we work towards this mission. We've spoken with hundreds of customers to understand their needs and where the opportunities may lie. And we're constantly speaking with investors, advisors and venture capitalists to understand what's required in order to ensure Pluto is best setup for commercial success. Following this research, we've defined three objectives that will guide our product and growth strategy over the next six months:

  • Identify and develop new revenue streams, in addition to travel insurance. This will increase our customer LTV and our potential market size, again, beyond just travel insurance.
  • Create an inherently social product, that markets itself. This drives down acquisitions costs, improving the efficiency of any marketing spend.
  • Create a more cost effective acquisition channel for our travel insurance product. This will allow us to dramatically improve on the traditionally high acquisition cost for insurance products.

To achieve these objectives, our product strategy is based on building a suite of tools that deliver value throughout the journey of planning for a trip. We split this journey into three areas:

  • Organise: Easily organise trips for yourself and with friends.
  • Discover: Get travel inspiration and tips from fellow travellers.
  • Protect: Great travel cover in case things go wrong.

Each of these pillars are built on problem statements that are based on extensive research with hundreds of customer interviews and industry reports. So far we’ve executed on the hardest part, protecting trips, through our hassle-free travel insurance. Now we’re shifting more of our focus to the other pillars: organising and discovery.

With this renewed focus and following insights from customers, our product expertise, and in line with our strategy, we highlighted the following problems to focus on:

  • There's no single place to keep track of booking information and things you want to do whilst you're away — people are relying on a combination of emails, maps, and note-taking tools, or making spreadsheets in attempt to solve this pain-point.
  • Deciding what to do and finding places to eat and drink with friends is painful and burdensome — consolidating everyone's options and preferences often ends up in a lengthy WhatsApp conversation.
  • Finding the 'hidden gems' and 'non-touristy' things to do is time-consuming — there's so much travel content out there, it's hard to find trusted recommendations from like-minded people.

Our solution to these problems is Pluto Pinboard — A digital tool that makes it easy to create and share travel plans.

  • All of the information about your trip in one place — add booking confirmations and save links, photos and documents from any other website or app.
  • Plan trips with friendsinvite your friends to add ideas of stuff to do and vote on what you want to do the most.
  • Share and discover travel plans from like-minded travellers — easily share your Pinboards with friends and family or search for recommendations from other travellers within the Pluto community.

Pinboard will be launched within our existing mobile app, and available for free to existing customers. A free version will also be available to non-customers and we'll be exploring a payment model for premium features, which will unlock additional revenue streams.

It's early days on this journey but we're confident that we've found a big problem for a large number of people and we have a desirable and differentiated way to solve it. If you'd like to hear more or want to share any ideas, then please do get in touch!

The Pluto family just got a bit bigger

We couldn’t be prouder to announce our new team members joining over the next few weeks. Get to know them more below.

Giulio Fagiolini - Head of Design:

"My favourite trip was probably a month long trip to China. My first true real backpacking trip with my two best friends. A mind-blowing country, adventure, bold flavours and so much randomness."

Ben Jones - Growth Marketer:

"My favourite holiday ever, was cycling from London to Puglia, Italy over 3 months. It was a very slow journey of eating and sightseeing interrupted by some cycling."

Announcing two exciting new partners

We love to work with other businesses and brands that share the same values as us and share a similar audience - travel loving millennials for the most part. So who better to partner with than some of the UK’s top money management apps, Yolt and Plum. Together we’re making it even easier for their existing users to get our top rated hassle-free travel insurance.

That's all for this month, thanks for reading.




The two co-founders of Pluto, Alex & Harry.