Re-inventing travel through design pays off

We covered the launch of Wanderfly in October 2010 in Wanderfly – Re-inventing travel through design. Wanderfly recently received $1 million in funding. The funding round was led by investors from Silicon Valley, Los Angeles, Boston and Florida, including Charles River Ventures, Jason Calacanis, StartupAngel, James Bailey and Roger Dickey.

Wanderfly

The financing will be used for:

  • Further personalizing the online travel experience through social planning functionality, user-generated and community content and mobile applications
  • Accelerating marketing and strategic partnerships to offer more exclusive experiences
  • Syndicating Wanderfly’s technology on partner sites

Along with the funding wanderfly is releasing several new features:

1. Social Travel + Upgraded Design

Rolling out in the march the upgraded design is inspired by application design. Think less website, more web app – a new way to think about online travel. This will include a full liquid layout and modules that expand and contract to reveal features. In the following months wanderfly 2.0 will include group planning tools to help friends organize their trips. Think an invitation system to gather people from your network to collaboratively decide where is good and what is there.

2. Destination DNA

Part of Wanderfly’s differentiation is an expanding database of destinations for which they have proprietary profiles – what destinations are good for, what attributes are associated with them, how they relate to one another.  At the end of Q1/beginning of Q2, they’re rolling this out to users, so they can submit feedback and influence the recommendations.  It’s similar to what Pandora does for music, except they are mixing in their own judgment with crowd sourcing. Wanderflys Destination DNA will be the most complete database of destination data out there.

3. UGC/Destination Experts Program

Starting this week, wanderfly is kicking off an Expert program that will feature content from high profile bloggers/travel writers on Wanderfly.  These guys will get their writing, articles, photos and linkbacks, in exchange for featuring our widget (with their content) on their sites.

4. Partner Platform

Wanderfly works with a lot of partners and they have two new ways to work with them:

1) a sponsored content platform where partners can hyper target users who have expressed what they want, closing the gap between consumer intent and brand content;

2) a tech licensing program where partners can custom install pieces of our recommendation technology on their sites to better personalize content

5. Mobile

Starting in Q3/Q4 wanderfly will start rolling out mobile versions of their site.

Designer, Maker of Things | Creative Director – @boomtownroi You should follow him on twitter @chadengle .

 

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