WAYN.com gets investment boost from industry luminaries

Cheapflights management duo David Soskin and Hugo Burge have joined Lastminute.com chairman Brent Hoberman and the Active Hotels’ founders as investors in the travel social networking site WAYN.com.

The five, with Constant Tedder, boss of gaming firm Jagex, have given WAYN.com £5.7 million in funds through the Esprit Capital Partners equity group.

Hoberman is expected to become non-executive chairman of the website in January 2007.

He said: “WAYN is a flagship example of the next generation of internet companies with global potential born out of the UK.

“The innovative customer proposition, which enables members to interact with others, based on the places they have been or plan to visit in the future, has proved to be extremely popular.

WAYN.com has won plaudits since its creation by Pete Ward, Jerome Touze and Mike Lines in 2002, allowing users to share travel photos and experiences, as well as create maps of planned itineraries. The site also hosts an email and messaging service.

Ward said: “Back in 2002 we recognised the huge potential for a travel community network. Travel captures the imagination and meeting people from different places is something that most of us really enjoy doing.

“We’re so excited to be working with some of the most respected leaders in their fields. Each investor brings something different and their input in the next phase of our growth will be invaluable.”

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