A group of two dozen angel investors — including rock star Bono; Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff; and Path founder Dave Morin — have joined forces to bankroll stealthy online travel startup Vamo. The Seattle company — led by former Facebook executive Ari Steinberg — today is announcing that it has raised $1.6 million.
Steinberg isn’t saying much about what he’s building, adding that it will likely be more than six months before launch. He loosely said that the company is helping people “plan vacations.”
“It is one of the these really big problems that has been around for a really long time, and it is just really hard,” said Steinberg. “I was able to convince (the investors) that we are going to be able to take a legitimate stab at this and hopefully try to tackle it.”
U2’s Bono invested through some of the other investors in the syndicate, with Steinberg saying that he’s not yet met the philanthropist and rock star. “He’s not on my speed dial,” said Steinberg, the former site director for the Seattle office of Facebook.
Vamo takes its name from the Spanish word “Vamos” — which means “we go.” Steinberg said that there are a number of companies — like Kayak and Expedia — that help travelers book travel. However, he said there’s a lot more that goes into planning a full itinerary.
“We expect this is going to be a big effort to work on, so we are going to spend a lot of time working on it,” he said.
The company, which is based in Seattle’s Pioneer Square neighborhood, employs four people. It will use some of the money to hire new engineers, with Steinberg noting that there’s a strong pool of talent in the online travel arena. Earlier this year, the company hired former Microsoft and Redfin engineer Shahaf Abileah.
Here’s a list of the investors in the seed round: