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Wanderlust Society
Members of the Wanderlust Society team, from left, Sean Vegeler, Jeff Topham, Andrej Gregov and Jana Kleitsch pose with the boots of the famous Hat ‘n’ Boots in Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood. (Wanderlust Society Photo)

It was an interesting trip but a relatively short one for the team of technology veterans who set out to change the way people plan their travels. The Seattle-based startup Wanderlust Society is shutting down at the end of the year.

In an email to members who had signed on with the service, the Wanderlust team wrote Monday that they lacked the growth needed to continue to build out their product and the “runway has come to an end.”

Co-founder and CEO Jana Kleitsch was one of handful of team members with previous experience at Amazon. Kleitsch spent nine years at the tech giant, and she previously founded the successful internet wedding website Bridalnet. Jeff Topham served as CTO and was previously a senior mobile development manager for the Amazon Go retail store concept. Andrej Gregov was head of product and he spent more than eight years at Amazon and another four at IMDb.com where he launched that site’s first mobile apps.

Wanderlust Society sought to help people find inspiration for trips from friends, save ideas from anywhere on the web, view potential destinations on a map and more. Kleitsch thought the company could fill a void in travel planning by offering more reliable recommendations, sourced from friends and fellow community members.

Wanderlust Society had about 200 members in a beta version of the tool when GeekWire profiled the company in July.

We reached out to Kleitsch for comment and will update this post when we hear back. Read the team’s letter to members below:

Dear Society Members,

It is with sadness we report that Wanderlust Society will discontinue service, effective December 31, 2018.

Our mission has been to help our Society Members take great trips. While we believe our initial product was a step in the right direction, we have not seen the growth needed to continue to build out the next stages of our product. Unfortunately our runway has come to an end before we were able to fully realize the dream of making personalized travel recommendations.

We have loved being a part of your travel planning and adventures, and the #wanderllama can’t believe the good fortune of all the adventures our Society Members have taken her on.

If you have any questions, please contact us at hello@wanderlustsociety.co.

Wander on!
The Wanderlust Society Team

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