New York, May 2012 – Social hostel-booking site inBed.me is announcing that it has changed its name to WeHostels.com alongside the launch of new social features for travelers. inBed.me launched at the end of 2011 and announced a $1.2m round of investment in February 2012.
“We realized that many people were misinterpreting the meaning of our name and the content of our site. We chose the name inBed.me based on the story of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s “bed-in” peace protest. However, many people misunderstood the name as a hook-up site, which is not at all what we are building.” said co-founder and CEO Diego Saez-Gil.
He added, “The new name WeHostels better represents our vision: to create a social community of independent travelers and a platform for us to meet, share tips and make new friends for our trips. ‘We’ is a word that we really love because it represents the sense of community that we want to foster”.
Besides changing its name, the company is releasing a new set of social features to enhance its user experience. Every hostel’s listing will now include a “Hostel Lounge” designed to replicate the dynamics of an actual hostel lounge. On the “wall,” travelers can have an open conversation about the hostel, city or things to do. They can then use the “planner” to plan activities and invite other people to join. Lastly, the “City Guide” provides a list of nearby places to go, based on the Foursquare API and geo-located on a map. The product was inspired by the conversations that happen in real hostels.
The company says that, despite the fact that they initially targeted Americans traveling to South America, they have seen organic growth from users all over the world, which makes the community more appealing because of its diversity. They have significantly grown their database of hostels in South America, especially Brazil, Argentina and Colombia. They have also established a key partnership with leading hostel-booking site Hostelworld that will allow WeHostels to offer travelers more than 27,000 hostels around the world.
“We are very excited with the progress of the product and the growth of the community. Our amazing team of engineers are killing it in the development of our coming products,” said co-founder Diego Saez-Gil.
WeHostels is a global community of young independent travelers. The platform allows travelers to book hostels around the world and to see other travelers who will be staying in each hostel and city. Users can then meet other travelers with shared friends, interests or places and share tips or plan activities together. The company is based in New York, Colombia and Argentina and recently raised $1.2m in seed funding.
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Co-founder and CEO