StudentUniverse recently announced the acquisition of WeHostels, a popular mobile app that enables travelers to book value accommodations around the world. Founded by Endeavor Entrepreneur Diego Saez-Gil in 2011, the vision for the company was to revolutionize the travel experience for young, budget-conscious and social-minded users. Touted as the first global social-web company built from Latin America for the world, WeHostels has seen steady success since its founding, with mentions across media outlets including TechCrunch, BBC News, and TheNextWeb among other accolades. With support for seven languages and activity across 800 cities, WeHostels reports 200,000 monthly active users with 80,000 hostels and hotels available for booking in its roster.
Its new parent company, the Boston-based StudentUniverse, provides travel services targeted at students and serves a reported eight million students a year. With the acquisition of WeHostels, StudentUniverse is looking to make headway in the mobile space, taking advantage of the unique platform and social media integration that has set the app offering apart from its competition. While WeHostels will remain a standalone product, Diego will also lead mobile development for StudentUniverse moving forward. WeHostels’ current employees, based across New York and Colombia, will also be joining the StudentUniverse family under the deal.
This announcement is exciting news for the Endeavor network, as it stands as a testament to the opportunities that are created when entrepreneurs like Diego are given access to the right mix of mentors, business networks and strategic advice to help scale their businesses to the next stage. After being selected as an Endeavor Entrepreneur in 2012, Diego has been an active participant in many key learning and support activities provided by Endeavor, including networking events, branding tours, and mentoring sessions.
Earlier in 2013, Endeavor facilitated a day-long event that convened branding experts from MBLM, a global marketing agency, for a brand innovation workshop tailored to WeHostels. Read more about the workshop here and watch a recap video below. In addition, Endeavor provided Diego the opportunity to meet with key investor and industry leaders through events organized by the Endeavor Investor Network, including sessions with influencers like Richard Harris (Travelocity), David Kidder (BionicSolution), and Wences Casares (Lemon.com), among others. Read more about the acquisition on WeHostels’ blog here, including a special thanks to Endeavor “for opening countless doors of opportunity”.
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