Wanderu, the bus and train ticket metasearch startup, has raised $5.6 million in a Series A equity round.
Metamorphic Ventures led the round. Current and new investors joined in as well, such as Alta Ventures, Craig Lentzsch (former CEO of Greyhound), 500 Startups, Barbara Corcoran Venture Partners, John Balen, and Brad Feld.
Last year, the Boston-based startup, pronounced "wander-oo", had raised $2.45 million in a seed round.
Today the company claims to serve 600,000 users a month, on average. Its doesn't reveal how many tickets it has helped to sell, but it does say that its sales are growing at a "400% rate, quarter-over-quarter.
CEO Polina Raygorodskaya proudly told Tnooz that her company's conversion rate has doubled during the past 4 months. She says:
"That's been driven by strong return and repeat user rates and our push to rapidly roll out new coverage and features that users are asking for."
When asked for the purpose of the funding, Raygorodskaya told Tnooz:
"We plan to expand into Mexico, launch native apps, and continue to add more destination coverage and services targeted to Millennials to simplify their travel booking experiences.
We also plan to use the money to continue building out our team on both the business and tech side."
The company says it has roughly two-thirds of inter-city bus routes in the US covered, though a Tnooz search showed that certain itineraries, such as Seattle to Dallas, don't come up yet.
Wanderu says it has 17 employees and that it is hiring for an in-house digital marketing manager, front-end engineers, a QA engineer, some full-stack engineers, a community manager, and a designer/brand lead.
Since Tnooz first profiled Wanderu, it has added the major players in the bus industry to its list of suppliers: Greyhound, Megabus, Boltbus, Peter Pan Bus, Grupo Senda, and New York Trailways.
Direct connections with carrier IT systems enable Wanderu to provide up-to-date schedules, pricing, and verified trip availability -- deep linking users to the end of the booking flow.
Since its founding in 2012, it has helped to create uniform programming standards for the industry.
Wanderu notes that part of its consumer appeal is that it allows users to mix and match tickets from multiple providers, which happens in about one out of five bookings.
Marc Michel, managing partner at Metamorphic Ventures, is joining Wanderu's board. He said in a statement:
“I believe that, over the long term, Wanderu will become the go-to travel brand for Millennials.”
Other bus ticketing metasearch startups, such as Bustripping, are now far behind in the race for fundraising. Some, like Bus Catchers, are stalled on the side of the road.
See Tnooz's 2012 profile of Wanderu and our follow-up last year.