Wander Pulls In $20M for Scenic Smart Home Rentals
Wander, a startup that rents luxury smart homes to tourists and remote workers, announced Wednesday that it has raised $20 million in venture capital to scale its workforce and add dozens of properties to its portfolio.
Wander is headquartered in Austin but its 15-person team is fully-remote. The company was founded nine months ago and raised a $7 million seed round in October. This latest Series A round brings the company’s total fundraising raised to $27 million.
Unlike Airbnb and Vrbo, Wander owns all of the homes on its platform and has outfitted each home with smart home features that guests can control from the Wander app. The app allows guests to unlock the door, turn on the lights and access the Tesla in the driveway of every Wander home.
Wander has five available properties for rent. Three are in California — Joshua Tree, Lake Tahoe and Mendocino County — and the other two are in Oregon (Port Orford and Bandon Dunes). The company plans to add dozens of additional properties across the U.S. this year.
Wander originally limited bookings to founding members who paid $100 donation, which included a free hooded sweatshirt and a $100 credit toward their first stay. More than 2,200 founding members are on the platform, and more than 30,000 are on the waitlist.
In addition to the funding announcement, the company also announced Wednesday that it is opening up bookings to those on the waitlist and the general public.
Wander caters to professionals who want to work remotely while traveling to scenic destinations. A survey of existing Wander customers showed 89 percent work at least partially remote and 93 percent travel two or more weeks each year.
While the number of remote workers continues to rise, Wander founder and CEO John Andrew Entwistle said in a statement that existing travel options for digital nomads tend to be unreliable, uncomfortable and unsuitable for work.
“Our goal is to build the infrastructure to experience the world,” Entwistle said. “We’re scaling rapidly to meet the demand of our more than 30,000 community members, with dozens more properties coming soon. We’re already seeing our vision for the future take shape.”
In the near future, Wander plans to introduce an employee benefit package that allows employers to treat their employees to a remote stay at a Wander property.
Wander is actively hiring across marketing, product, finance and home operations.
The Series A round was led by QED Investors with participation from Redpoint Ventures, Authentic Ventures, Fifthwall, Susa Ventures, Kevin Durant and Rich Kleiman’s Thirty Five Ventures, Packy McCormick, Sahil Bloom, Todd & Rahul’s Angel Fund, Alumni Ventures, Vibe Capital and a16z.