The tourism industry is huge. It’s also crowded and noisy. Muirelle Montecalvo, founder and CEO of Vacayou, believes it’s so noisy that people looking for peace, serenity and wellness will value a service that cuts through that noise.
“While countless brands use the term ‘wellness’ in their marketing,” she says, “Vacayou breaks through the hype and hand-selects only the best wellness and active experiences around the world. Then we educate travelers – many of whom are first-time wellness travelers – on the types of retreats, spas, tours and resorts available.”
Vacayou’s latest round of $3.3 million will support the launch of its online wellness travel discovery and booking platform. Funds will go towards development, marketing and streamlining the onboarding process for new partners. The total raise is the aggregate of two rounds, the first of which closed in early 2020 and included Seedfunders, Matt Nachtrab and other local angels. The latest round was lead by Jeff Vinik and Relevance Ventures, amongst others.
Montecalvo shared with the Catalyst that, over the last year, the Vacayou team has been diligently foundation building, but decided to lay low with marketing and publicity due to the pandemic. That foundation building included a very successful stint at Embarc Collective. Montecalvo praised the team, resources and programming that Embarc provided as exceptional value. It went so well, in fact, that Ryan Schneider, the executive advisor provided by Embarc, became Vacayou’s president.
The beta launch of the Vacayou platform comes at a time when some of the travel world is starting to move again. Says investor Jeff Vinik, “We’re about to see a boom in travel, and Vacayou is perfectly positioned to serve the growing population of travelers interested in health and wellness. We’re excited to be part of the team serving this important segment.”
Note: Catalyst publisher Joe Hamilton is a partner in Seedfunders.