Money Startups

Travel-tech startup Wandertrails raises $1 mn in seed funding

8 Feb, 2017

Travel-tech startup Wandertrails raises $1 mn in seed funding

Bangalore-based experiential travel startup Wandertrails Services Pvt Ltd has raised $1 million in seed investment from Earlsfield Capital, a UK-based venture capital firm of entrepreneurs-turned-investors.

The company will use the new capital to expand its services across the country and build more products, it said in a press statement.

"We raised $1 million in a turbulent investment scenario. It will give the company a strong financial cushion for executing its expansion plans on a pan-India basis," Vishnu Menon, co-founder and chief executive said in the statement.

The startup was founded in July 2016 by Menon, Hari Gangadharan Nair (CTO), Sruti Ramesh Chander (COO), Pranav Kumar Suresh (CSO) and Narayana Menon K (CMO).

On the Wandertrails platform, travellers can choose from a wide range of stay options, like homestays, treehouses, house boats, heritage homes and more. It also offers a range of activities like treks and adventure trails, culinary sessions, heritage walks, art trails and more. Users of the platform can book either stays or activities, or choose to combine them and make an experience-led trail.

Wandertrails also offers a concierge service to its users. The startup claims to host more than 5,000 experiential stays and immersive activities in 65 destinations across 12 states at present.

Earlsfield Capital is a London-based venture capital firm that backs early-stage Indian technology businesses. The VC firm's focus sectors are medtech, fintech, food-tech and ed-tech, with a particular emphasis on the business-to-business (B2B) segment.

In India, the online travel segment is dominated by MakeMyTrip, Cleartrip and Yatra, among others. Last year, in the biggest-ever consolidation move in the online travel space in India, NASDAQ-listed MakeMyTrip Ltd agreed to buy ibibo Group, which is co-owned by South African technology group Naspers Ltd and Chinese investment firm Tencent, in an all-stock deal.

Yatra had also entered into a reverse merger agreement with a US-based special purpose acquisition company Terrapin, paving the way for a back-door listing of the second Indian OTA in the US, after its peer MakeMyTrip. In December 2016, Yatra listed its shares on the Nasdaq stock exchange at $10 apiece.

Other players in the travel startup space include online travel agent marketplace TravelTriangle, which on Tuesday raised $10 million in Series B funding led by Singapore-based RB Investments. The funding round also saw participation from existing investors SAIF Partners and Silicon Valley venture fund Bessemer Venture Partners.

Last month, Gurgaon-based online travel search engine ixigo was reportedly in talks with Chinese conglomerate Fosun International to secure investment. Earlier in the month, ixigo acqui-hired mobile content sharing app Reach.