Since its launch in December 2021, Wander has already raised over $3.13 million in funding, generated $2 million in revenue and hosted over 5,000 guests who’ve reconnected with nature thanks to the WanderPod experience. This ongoing success, coupled with the following accolades positions Wander as a pioneering force in the industry.
The average cost in Australia to build a 4-5 star hotel or resort is $600,000 per hotel room, a process that takes an average of 3 years. In contrast, WanderPods offer a cost-effective solution. These pods cost up to 25% less than traditional builds per key and require a mere 16 weeks for manufacturing. This efficiency places Wander in the market up to five times faster than conventional construction methods.
We chat to Wander founder, Cass Sasso.
Tell us about Wander.
We are on a mission to redefine how we travel, transforming our relationship with our planet, our communities and ourselves. Not only do we need to change how we travel, we need to transform how we live.
To do this, we are creating a network of modular, design-led, eco-aware WanderPods® in breathtaking nature-based locations. We source premium sites in high demand regional destinations, lease land with a revenue share model, and remotely manage the operations.
So far we’ve raised $3.13m to commercialise 2 sites with a total of 9 WanderPods® in the Scenic Rim, QLD and Kangaroo Island, SA and welcomed over 5000 Wanderers through our pods. Now, we want to bring in new capital to expand this portfolio.
What inspired you to start Wander?
The idea started back in 2019, in a small suburban office in Inner West Sydney. Coming from a decade of hospitality design, and after a massive day’s work we sat down and thought… there’s something missing. Frustrated at the hotel industry’s lack of commitment to sustainable low-scale development, contribution to regional communities, and all too often transactional approach to travel, we believed the world needed something different. So we set out to do just that…
Tell us about your career and background.
I have over 10yrs of design expertise with developers and operators, and having built a hospitality design company with projects valuing up to $100m. I am also an alumni of SBE, which supports female founders to scale fast.
Describe a typical work day for you.
It’s crazy. Like a lot of founders, it can vary wildly to be full days talking to investors and leading meetings about the direction and strategy of the company, to managing the team and looking at new sites or regions we can expand in to. One of the best parts about my work is the amazing places it can take me to – I have met some of the most inspiring, generous and passionate people in the regions we work in.
What advice do you have for those wanting to start a business?
Be patient, and work on building the right foundations before you rush to scale.
What’s next for you, and Wander?
With a proven model we are now looking to scale by growing our portfolio of amazing locations in all states and prepare for international growth. We have launched an equity crowdfund campaign so you can be part of an incredible brand whose vision is to build a sustainable, immersive, and decentralised portfolio of assets that will help more people connect with what matters most – our planet, our communities and ourselves.