US: Rhode Island-based outdoor travel technology company The Wanderlust Group has announced that it has secured $30 million in a Series C funding round led by venture capital firm Thursday Ventures.
The company, which connects adventurers to outdoor destinations, is the parent brand to Dockwa, which connects boaters and marinas, and marina directory Marinas.com. The Wanderlust Group is also poised to launch campground platform Campouts in the near future.
Founded in 2014, the startup plans to use the funding to develop its technology and grow Dockwa by connecting with more marinas around the world.
Calling 2021 the “strongest year” in its history, The Wanderlust Group is also set to launch The Wanderfund, a new “philanthropic initiative focused on supporting organisations that create greater access to nature and protect the environment”, which will invest $300,000 this year on environmentally focused nonprofits and charities. The news arrives off the back of a significant milestone for Dockwa in recording five million booked stays on its platform.
The Wanderlust Group co-founder and CEO, Mike Melillo, said: “At The Wanderlust Group, we are trying to better the world by getting people out in it.
“To do that, we need a future that has clean oceans and protected forests. We need a reversal of climate change and a generation of new adventurers and conservationists dedicated to the outdoors.
“Investing in those causes is as central to our business as investing in our product is,” he added.
Thursday Ventures, which led the round, will join The Wanderlust Group’s board as a result of the investment.
Ryan McKillen, partner at Thursday Ventures, said: “It is rare to find a company so well positioned to digitise an industry for the first time. The vibrant marketplaces that are developing because of The Wanderlust Group cannot only improve the industries they are in, they can expand the total addressable market.
“We’re excited about this and the company’s vision of investing in the environment,” he added.
Driven by a flourishing boating industry, which saw new boat sales hit a 13-year high in the United States in 2020, The Wanderlust Group has expanded into more than 15,000 destinations in over 30 countries. It is also used by 865 marinas and 250,000 boaters worldwide, since its launch eight years ago.
The company has raised $52.8 million in funding to date across five rounds.