For Operators, By Operators

Who We Are

  • PLUM is a team of 48 C-level leaders who have collectively increased the enterprise value of our companies by $421bn and revenue by $133bn. We are also veterans of over $600bn in M&A and more than 40 IPO transactions.
  • We know what a large role advice, guidance, and coaching from other leaders played in our own successes, and we are united by a shared vision for how SPACs can be redefined from simple blank-check arbitrage companies into platforms that help ambitious leaders create long-term value.
  • Unlike traditional blank-check companies that specialize in short-term stock promotion, our sole focus is helping great companies and leaders level up for even better public market performance.
  • We restrict our focus to companies in areas where we can actively increase stakeholder value based on our experience, including Enterprise & SMB Software, Infrastructure, Workflow Automation, FinTech, InsureTech, and other Vertical Marketplaces.
  • We are minority investors who actively contribute to the success of our partner companies by helping them leverage the value of DEI, form Fortune 500 partnerships for faster growth and internationalization, and strengthen their business with our Accelerating Through the Bell playbook, which pairs them with executives like the former COO of Microsoft, CEO of Palo Alto Networks, CFO of Smartsheet or Doordash or Zendesk, Chief Revenue Officer of Tableau, Chief Accounting Officer of DocuSign, Chief Diversity Officer of Google, etc. to help fill gaps or build on strengths.

Our Track Record

$421
Total Increase in EV
53
Median Increase in EV
174
Median Revenue Growth
$133
Revenue Growth

Our Values

  • Productive Disagreement: silence means agreement. We speak up in a spirit of productive disagreement so that we are making world-class decisions
  • Frequent, Safe Feedback: we frequently and unhesitatingly give their partners candid feedback without judgment or fear of reprisal
  • Strength in Vulnerability: we prize open discussion and vulnerability without fear of repercussions
  • Joy & Connection: we get energy from working together, celebrating wins along the way, and developing real relationships with all
  • All In: we are all-in on the success of our SPAC and willing to do whatever it takes to succeed in our goal of turning strong private companies into great public companies

Our History

How does a new company have history?

By bringing together experienced, thoughtful and successful executives who complement each other’s expertise and achievements and unite them around a clear mission, values, and goals.

Clay Whitehead

Clay was a growth company CEO for a decade and consistently invested in venture capital deals personally during that time. He left his company to focus on investing in later-stage venture companies like Calm, DigitalOcean, and Gitlab, but the operator inside of him saw an even bigger opportunity to build a platform for launching SPACs. He was attracted to the idea of building a franchise of top-tier operators, united by a common set of values learned in the trenches, who could help pre-IPO companies make the most of their listing. The opportunity came from a deep place of passion for him, as some of Clay’s most rewarding experiences were while coaching CEOs of high-growth companies like Databricks and Auth0.

Kanishka Roy

Clay teamed up with Kanishka, who had also been thinking deeply about the promise of SPACs but from a whole different lens. His views were shaped by his former life as the Global Head of Tech M&A Origination at Morgan Stanley and subsequent role as Global CFO of a multi-billion-dollar private AI company. As a former investment banker, Kanishka was acutely aware of how inefficient and inaccessible IPOs had become. He knew there had to be a better way for promising private companies to tap into public capital and find aligned investors for the long-term by telling a 5-10 year story with forward projections. But SPACs, in their current form, were often just out to make a quick buck through financial arbitrage. A new type of SPAC platform was needed with better aligned economic outcomes for the long run.

Mike Dinsdale

Together, Clay and Kanishka brought on Mike Dinsdale. From his experience as CFO of Gusto, Doordash, and Docusign, Mike knew the ins and outs of hyper-growth pre-IPO Tech companies. Mike immediately loved the idea of a SPAC platform focused on delivering value to high-growth Tech companies.

Ursula Burns

The final piece of the puzzle came when the three met Ursula Burns, who separately was also evaluating the potential to build a large, long-lasting SPAC platform. Increasing public-markets access to promising private companies in an efficient and long-term value-enhancing way spoke to her personal motives and journey as well. Ursula brought not only incredible connectivity to the Plum team, but strong leadership experience and hard-won operational knowledge. And as a resident of London, Ursula also focused the team’s efforts to include Europe as a huge untapped source of quality Tech companies that could benefit from a US listing.

The four founders focused their efforts on another critical element of innovation for a SPAC platform: creating a private equity-like operational playbook to help companies accelerate growth in the public markets. This Accelerating Through The Bell playbook would be made up of short, medium and long-term plays developed by proven operational executives. Partner companies would be paired with executives with proven functional success to provide support in 12 critical areas ranging from sales acceleration to investor relations to M&A to branding and communications and preserving your culture while scaling.

The group also had another unifying commonality. Each had traversed their own personal journeys with diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and had seen first-hand the incredible incremental business value a focus on DEI could create within companies. So, they made the development of tangible capabilities and operational initiatives to help companies implement and realize the promise of DEI, a key part of their operational playbook.

And the rest, as they say, is history.