A year ago today, Founder and CEO John Andrew Entwistle was pacing back and forth, filled with both excitement and fear, and a vision for the future as he sent his first email to potential angel investors about Wander:
“What if it was possible to have a perfect experience? To guarantee quality, consistency, connectivity and flexibility? To have bits and atoms collide and take control of the home directly from the app? What if it was possible to build this network of smart homes, a key piece of infrastructure to experience the world? Where could you go from there?”
Wander was officially born, and so began an incredible journey. What started out as a handful of hopeful early conversations would soon grow into an emerging network of smart homes across the U.S, and a community of over 58,000 Wanderers from across the globe.
As we celebrate our first year, let’s look back on a couple of the milestones that defined the past twelve months of Wander and look ahead at the exciting things to come.
A new normal for workcations
We started Wander because the existing infrastructure to experience the world was broken. We wanted to create something better and build a new way to work and play. We wanted guests to have the freedom to work reliably with faster internet than they get at their own homes. We wanted them to relax comfortably with luxury amenities like hot tubs and saunas. And we wanted to give them total home control at their fingertips. Things like accessing the Tesla in the garage or turning on the fireplace, all in the palm of their hand. We wanted Wander to help them find their happy place – wherever that was and whoever it was with.
In the first month, our first home Wander Anchor Bay went into contract. This was followed by three more homes in a few months, in Southern Oregon and Tahoe. Fast forward to May 2022, Wander now has seven homes coast-to-coast with dozens more coming this year.
With over 200 bookings to-date, we’ve welcomed guests and have made priceless memories from birthdays to engagements – maintaining a customer NPS of 95. Booking was also made easier with three options available: app, web, and through our Wander Concierge which is at your service 24/7 and has had over 7,000 messages to-date.
Finally, we’ve been joined by an amazing community of 2,800+ Founding Members - who can be found all across the world proudly rocking their exclusive hoodies. After all, our journey and our long-term ambitions don’t stop within the boundaries of the continental U.S…
Building the team from the ground up
Wander is a remote-first company. We’re proud to bring together talent from different parts of the world including the Americas, Europe, Africa, and Asia.
Home operations specialist Tyler recounts the early days with just a handful of employees, “In operations, there are always tons of challenges like hot tubs flying away in the wind. A specific highlight of mine was when me and John Andrew were setting up Wander Anchor Bay in preparation for our launch video shoot and staying up late into the night making sure everything was perfect.”
As we scale, open up more homes, and grow the working team, Wander continues to provide a supportive and collaborative environment for its employees.
“The speed at which we launch things is phenomenal, coupled with the team spirit to celebrate every small or large win. The ability to think long term and what Wander can become in 3-4 years, but at the same time focus on the present and move fast, launch and iterate is definitely one of my highlights working here,” software engineer Panos said.
When asked about what working at Wander is like, CMO Kyle Tibbitts revealed, “We have a super fun and ambitious team with a bias towards action and lots of empathy and transparency. The absolute best team I've ever been a part of.”
“What I love most is the support I get from all angles - it’s amazing to know that people have your back even when you mess up. I get to dip my toes in many different things because of the nurturing environment created within our team,” travel concierge Codeth also added.
Closing out the year & looking ahead
In closing, John Andrew shares, “Today, we turn one year old. In the past year we’ve had over 200 bookings, grown to a team of 30+, been supported by a community of great investors and so much more. I could not be more proud of the team, nor more excited to answer all of the “What If” that lie ahead.”
“Over the next year, you can expect us to continue to pursue our vision in building the infrastructure to experience the world. You will see expansion across the U.S., and the release of digital infrastructure that makes travel easier. You will see B2B products focused on promoting work life harmony. You will see us release financial products and community products designed to allow real ownership and benefit to our users.”
This month, we’re about to welcome guests to our first East Coast property Wander Hudson Valley and to our first home in Arizona, Wander Cave Creek. We’ll also be launching our biggest property yet — an 8-bedroom, 10-bathroom beach house that’s perfect for events like company retreats and family reunions. We’re revealing where soon, so you’ll have to follow us on Twitter or Instagram to get the first look.
What an amazing ride it’s been. We’re so thankful you’ve decided to Wander with us. Here’s to finding your happy place in the many years to come.