Newport, RI – January 19, 2021 – As more Americans turn to the water for recreation than ever before, The Wanderlust Group (TWG), a company that connects adventurers to outdoor destinations, today announced that it has closed a $30 million Series C funding round led by Thursday Ventures. The Wanderlust Group is the parent brand to Dockwa, Marinas.com and the forthcoming Campouts – technology marketplaces and platforms that help adventurers get outside and destinations grow.
TWG will use the funds from this round to scale Dockwa so marinas can run every transaction through the platform, Dockwa can expand to more marinas internationally, and the company can build an even better boater community. After the strongest year in the company’s history, The Wanderlust Group is also using the milestone of 5 million stays booked through Dockwa to launch The Wanderfund, a new philanthropic initiative focused on supporting organizations that create greater access to nature and protect the environment.
The company will kick-off The Wanderfund with investments supporting the Ocean Conservancy, which works to protect our ocean from its greatest challenges, as well as The Boys & Girls Club of Newport County for programs that get youth outside and introduce new generations to a shared love and respect for the outdoors. TWG was founded in Newport, so this latter investment is also a tribute to the community that gave the company its start. From there, The Wanderlust Group will engage its community of hundreds of thousands of boaters, marinas and adventurers to nominate other environmental nonprofits for support each quarter. The Wanderfund will invest $300,000 this year in environmentally focused nonprofits.
“At The Wanderlust Group, we are trying to better the world by getting people out in it,” said Mike Melillo, Co-Founder and CEO of The Wanderlust Group. “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.”
Thursday Ventures, whose mission is to find, fund and nurture early-stage tech companies that empower and change the world, is closely linked to TWG’s success and future governance. The Series C funding round was led by Ryan McKillen at Thursday Ventures who joined TWG Board of Directors in May 2021 and whose resume includes helping scale Uber’s engineering team as the company’s third employee. Thursday Ventures will join the TWG board and cap table, helping the company build out its executive and engineering teams as it moves into the next phase of global growth.
“It is rare to find a company so well positioned to digitize an industry for the first time.” said Ryan McKillen, Thursday Ventures Partner. “The vibrant marketplaces that are developing because of The Wanderlust Group can not 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.”
Over the past year, the boating industry has flourished, with new boat sales hitting a 13-year high in 2020, according to the NMMA, and the flurry of boater activity continuing into 2021. Since its launch, TWG’s products have connected hundreds of thousands of boaters to search, explore, reserve, and pay for reservations at thousands of marinas digitally. On average, Dockwa has increased the average net operating income of its marina customers by 20%, and its total marina value by $800,000.
For more information about TWG and its subsidiary brands including Dockwa and Marinas.com, visit https://wanderlustgroup.com/.
About The Wanderlust Group
Founded in 2014, The Wanderlust Group is a technology leader in the marine and outdoor travel industries made up of Dockwa and Marinas.com. We believe that the world is a better place when people are able to spend time outdoors, connected to nature and each other. To support this mission, we make technology that enables accessibility, enjoyment, and affordability to outdoor experiences for all. The company serves more than 30 countries, 920 marinas and 350,000+ boaters worldwide.
For more information, visit https://wanderlustgroup.com/ and follow on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.