“Better team, better product, better market. The trifecta,” said Jeremy Fisher, cofounder of the travel-centric site Wander, which hit gold with a viral marketing campaign earlier this year. He was referring to the secret as to why he struggled for a year with one product before hitting a triple with the next. Mr. Fisher, his cofounder Keenan Cummings, and a team of three developers just scored $1.2 million from SV Angel, Google Ventures and other top-shelf funds. Wander is also in the current class of TechStars NY.
Mr. Fisher, a former Morgan Stanley banker, had been pitching Dinevore, a restaurant discovery and sharing tool, for more than a year. About half his current investors passed on Dinevore, he said. ”It just seems to take, in many cases, about two years to really get to a good place,” he said, citing fellow New York startup Yipit, which endured a dressing-down from Founder Collective before going on to find success. ”The product itself owes a big debt to lots of lessons that we took away from Dinevore. Which still exists, by the way. People are still using it.”
Wander is still in stealth mode, although it has some beta users, Mr. Fisher said. It’s unlikely to release more widely for at least a month, he estimated. Although Mr. Fisher took Wander on the demo roadshow, revealing it to investors and attendees at meetups like the North Brooklyn Breakfast Club, press has not seen a demo yet. “Tumblr meets Pinterest for travel,” is how one person who saw the demo described it. “It’s very pretty, great interface, I can see a lot of people using it to make travelogues.”
In choosing investors, Wander wanted seed stage investors and the ability to plug into networks all over the country, Mr. Fisher said. “We wanted geographic diversity in the round, so we have people from New York, from Boston, from L.A. and the Bay Area. An investor’s network will be strongest in their region.”