WAYN (website)

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Where Are You Now? Ltd
Type of site
Travel & lifestyle social network
Founded2002; 21 years ago (2002)
Founder(s)Peter Ward, Jerome Touze, Mike Lines
Employees21 (July 2016)
DivisionsLondon, Cape Town, Szczecin
Current statusactive

WAYN (an acronym for Where Are You Now?) is a social travel network.[1] Its stated goal is to help discover where to go and meet like-minded people. WAYN was the brain child of entrepreneurs Jerome Touze and Peter ward and was founded in 2002.[1]

Like other social networking services, WAYN enabled its users to create a profile and upload photos. Users can search for other users and link them to their profiles as friends. The Founders part exited the business in 2006 in a $11m deal[2] to DFJ Esprit and valuing the company at $46m.[3] In 2015 it claims to have over 20 million users.[4] By 2013, the site grew to 22 million registered users, growing at a daily rate of 5,000 new users and adding 25,000 new travel photos every day.[5] In late 2016, the website was bought by Lastminute.com in an asset purchase deal at terms that were not disclosed.[6]

The acquisition means Wayn's database of users and content will be added to The Travel People,[7] lastminute.com's media division. The Travel People claims to reach 43 million monthly unique visitors every month across all its brands (Lastminute.com, Rumbo, Volagratis, Bravofly and Jetcost).


WAYN was founded in 2002 in London by Jerome Touze (Co-CEO), Peter Ward (Co-CEO) and Mike Lines (CTO), after two of them came up with the idea to connect people based on their location while having a few beers in their local pub. WAYN initially grew through word-of-mouth and reached almost 50,000 members by the end of 2004. Following its relaunch in May 2005 it reached over 2.5 million members by the end of 2005. On 26 March 2012 the site claimed "over 19.1m members".[4]

The business started with initial seed funding in 2003 from the original founder of Friends Reunited.[8]

In 2006, the WAYN Founders managed to complete a part exit of the company for $11 million from DFJ Esprit and attracting famous internet entrepreneurs as investors such as Brent Hoberman (ex-founder of lastminute.com), Hugo Burge (CEO of cheapflights.co.uk), Adrian Critchlow and Andy Phillips (ex-founders of Active Hotels) and Constant Tedder (ex-CEO of Jagex, an online gaming company) and was referred to at the time as the 'Myspace of Travel'.[9]


WAYN users may post photos from their trips. Registered users send and receive messages using email, discussion forums, E-cards, SMS, and instant messages and Q&A. WAYN provides a destination browsing service to discover Where to go next and WAYN members can interact with each other and ask questions on the destinations through a Questions & Answers service. The site also provides Social Opinions which generated over 25,000 opinions daily in 2014.[10] In 2015, WAYN has announced major strategic partnerships with Booking.com to offer hotels booking to its users [11] as well as Viator to offer tours and activities booking.[10]

Contact import[edit]

Like many other social media sites, WAYN encourages its users to invite their friends which in turn leads to the contacts of the members to receive an invitation to join. In 2006, some members have vented their frustration claiming they were not aware that an invitation would be sent to their contacts.[12][13] The company acknowledged that this process could be improved and has since changed the way in which these invitations get generated and has also signed up with Return Path, one of the few whitelisting companies in the world which certifies Emails Best Practice.[1]


WAYN Alexa Internet traffic ranking was 12,251 as of March 2017 down more than 2,000 position from the prior year.[14] It claimed in 2013 to house user data for over 22 million users in 193 different countries.[15]


WAYN.com commercialises its website through advertising and integrated brand engagement solutions. The site also offers a membership service (VIP) for users who wish to access to travel and lifestyle benefits. More recently, the site launched a travel booking service for users to book their hotels and tours globally.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d O'Neill, Sean (5 February 2014). "You have to pivot to win it: Original social travel site WAYN on survival". Phocuswire.
  2. ^ "WAYN secures $11 million". www.stellantpartners.com. Retrieved 23 April 2023.
  3. ^ "WAYN Stock Price, Funding, Valuation, Revenue & Financial Statements". www.cbinsights.com. Retrieved 5 May 2023.
  4. ^ a b "WAYN: About Us". Retrieved 20 September 2015.
  5. ^ "Social travel network WAYN marks 22-million registered travellers". Ventureburn. 19 September 2013. Retrieved 23 April 2023.
  6. ^ Butcher, Mike (21 September 2016). "After a long journey, WAYN gets picked up by its dotcom-era brother, Lastminute.com". TechCrunch. Retrieved 23 April 2023.
  7. ^ "WAYN travel social network bought by Lastminute.com Group". www.phocuswire.com. Retrieved 23 April 2023.
  8. ^ "Scaling a successful business session, with Pete Ward". Putney Social.
  9. ^ Cashmore, Pete (27 November 2006). "WAYN Gets $11M for "MySpace of Travel"". Mashable.
  10. ^ a b "WAYN announces tour offering in tie-up with Viator".
  11. ^ "Wayn.com signs strategic partnership with Booking.com". Breaking Travel News. 17 November 2014.
  12. ^ Thuraisingham, Bhavani; Abrol, Satyen; Heatherly, Raymond; Kantarcioglu, Murat; Khadilkar, Vaibhav; Khan, Latifur (6 April 2016). Analyzing and Securing Social Networks. CRC Press. ISBN 978-1-4822-4328-4.
  13. ^ "Don't go to WAYN.com".
  14. ^ "Alexa Traffic Ranking for wayn.com". Alexa Internet. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  15. ^ Coetzee, Jacques (16 April 2013). "WAYN: how a social startup is cashing in on its jet-setting community". VentureBurn. Retrieved 16 April 2013.

Further reading[edit]