Home rentals

Wander raises $20 million for scenic smart home rentals

Wander owns five properties, including this site near Bandon, Oregon. | Photo: Wander.com

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 expand its workforce and add dozens of properties to its portfolio.

Wander is headquartered in Austin, but its team of 15 is entirely remote. The company was founded nine months ago and raised a $7 million funding round in October. This latest Series A brings the company’s total fundraising to $27 million.

Unlike Airbnb and Vrbo, Wander owns all homes on its platform and has equipped each home with smart home features that customers can control from the Wander app. The app allows customers to unlock the door, turn on the lights and access the Tesla in the driveway of every Wander home.

Wander has five properties available for rental. 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 more properties across the United States this year.

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Wander initially limited reservations to founding members who paid a $100 donation, which included a free hoodie and $100 credit for their first stay. Over 2,200 founding members are on the platform, and over 30,000 are on the waiting list.

In addition to the funding announcement, the company also announced on Wednesday that it is opening reservations to those on the waitlist and the general public.

Wander is for professionals who want to work remotely while traveling to scenic destinations. A survey of existing Wander customers showed that 89% worked at least partially remotely and 93% traveled two weeks or more each year.

As the number of remote workers continues to grow, 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 the job.

“Our goal is to build the infrastructure to experience the world,” Entwistle said. “We are rapidly scaling to meet demand from over 30,000 members of our community, with dozens more properties to come. We are already seeing our vision of the future taking shape.

In the near future, Wander plans to introduce a benefits package that allows employers to offer their employees a remote stay at a Wander property.

Wander is actively recruiting in 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.