(Press Release) Bus and Train Travel Search Wanderu Raises $2.45 million round of funding led by Alta Ventures, investors include strategic travel industry insider and Chairman of Orbitz, Jeff Clarke; Chairman of Her Campus, Bill Kaplan; Semyon Dukach, Drummond Road Capital, amongst others. Wanderu will use the capital to expand its coverage, scale its data systems and release new features.
Alta Ventures Mexico (AVM) announced today an investment in Wanderu, the travel startup that makes finding and booking bus and train travel easier. Former CEO of Greyhound, Craig Lentzsch and AVM’s partner, Rogelio De los Santos will be added to the board of directors. The $2.45 million closing round of funding includes strategic travel industry insider and Chairman of Orbitz, Jeff Clarke; Chairman of Her Campus, Bill Kaplan; Semyon Dukach, Drummond Road Capital, amongst others.
After initially partnering with 12 bus carriers, includingBoltBus and Concord Coach Lines, Wanderu made its service publicly available in the Northeast of the US, where the platform has over 80% coverage including from major cities to remote college towns. “Our partnerships allow us to provide end users with up to date schedules, pricing, availability and facilitates the check out process,” said co-founder and CEO Polina Raygorodskaya.
Wanderu is making it easier for young executives and students, accounting for 74% of the intercity bus travelers, to find and book a trip from point A to B. Compared to flying, ground travel has proven to be more convenient for short and middle distances since it offers Wi-Fi, plugs and other amenities. According to a DePaul University study, buses are the fastest growing form of transportation for inter-city travel in the U.S, but finding and booking travel between cities still proves to be a big headache and waste of time for consumers having to scour the web to find and book a trip. Winner of this year’s SXSW Interactive Accelerator Innovative Web Technology award, Wanderu is tackling this issue head on by allowing travelers to search all of their options in one place.
“Wanderu will provide bus and train carriers with the opportunity to access new and extended markets, while improving their level of service by allowing end users to smoothly plan a point-to-point trip,” De los Santos said. “We saw a big opportunity in the North American market being tackled by a very talented and knowledgeable team,” he added.
Founded by Polina Raygorodskaya, Igor Bratnikov and Eddy Wong, Wanderu’s goal is to deliver the easiest search and booking experience in ground travel. The company will use the capital to expand its coverage, scale its data systems and release new features. It is rapidly adding to its development team, which currently consists of eight engineers. The Wanderu data system, similar to middle layer technologies in the airline business, enables Wanderu to connect directly with partner’s reservation systems. The system standardizes the schedule and pricing information from across the different sources by converting to Wanderu Unified Data Standards.
Wanderu also debuts checkout availability confirmation, a first in the industry. This real time trip verification enables consumers at checkout to have the latest prices and availability before they begin booking. In the near future, the company is planning to make it effortless to travel between any two points in North America.