Startup Watch: Wanderu
Boston based startup Wanderu has previously been dubbed the Kayak for buses by The Economist. The company was born out of founder Polina Raygorodskaya’s own frustration with the lack / complete non-existence of bus journey comparison sites and the fact that many bus companies still didn’t have the option to purchase tickets online. And so Wanderu was born with the aim to search hundreds of bus and train lines to find the best deals from $1 to over 2,000 cities in North America. They search the most popular intercity bus services including Bolt, Megabus, Greyhound and Peter Pan, plus many more. So far users can book travel to over 90% of the US and many destinations in Canada as well.
The option of travelling by bus is attractive to everyone from commuters to students and budget conscious travellers. Buses are convenient, cheap and ideal for last minute travel and there’s been a push to upgrade the buses with things that appeal to millennials such as plugs and wifi to keep them connected throughout their journey.
Launched in 2013 Wanderu already has almost 5 million users, 74% of which are between the ages of 18 and 35. This millennial demographic are reverting back to city living in urban centers where they are less likely to own a car and more likely to rent their homes. They are starting families at a later stage, and therefore have more time to travel and so inexpensive and flexible bus travel suits them really well.
The next steps for Wanderu will be to Expand into Europe – a market with huge potential. As well as this they’ll continue to build a multilevel experience where users will be able to compare air travel as well as bus and train. Raygorodskaya notes that it’s often worth considering flying out of other airports – not just your closest one because you can save a lot by hopping on a bus and flying out of a different airport. She recommends comparing prices and travel times for all airports that are within 3 or 4 hours of you by bus.
So if you’re on that side of the world make sure to check Wanderu for environmentally and wallet friendly travel. We’re patiently waiting for its arrival in Europe!
Find out more and book your next journey at www.wanderu.com