By Derek Andersen
Wanderable: From YC’s Startup School Office Hours To 500 Startups Demo Day

While at Startup School last year, I was impressed with two young women (Marcela Miyazawa and Jenny Chen) who went toe to toe with PG and Harj Taggar in front of 500 founders and entrepreneurs. Their original idea was to build a Facebook booking engine for experiences. Instead of bookings on the web, they would just do things directly on Facebook. PG told them towards to end, “I would seriously consider doing something else.” They listened.

Fast forward 10-months to yesterday. I’m sitting in the 500 demo day in Mountain View where Dave McClure unveiled 27 new companies. As the third company starts to present, I recognize the voice and the face – It was Jenny from the Startup School stage! 

The life-long friends are focused on a different product called Wanderable following Marcela’s honeymoon last year and the difficulty in getting their friends to help pay for the things they wanted to do. Wanderable is a honeymoon registry for coupes who want experiences, not stuff. After taking two weeks to build the initial version and seeing good traction, they decided to focus on that product.

According to their presentation, Wanderable has 1000 coupons in the system. New customers are costing $12, while the customer value is $125. They said honeymooning is a $10B market. Their simple and clean web pages allow people to donate to honeymooners funds. They’re expanding to showers, birthdays, and more. I was able to quickly interview the two ex-Stanford CS roommates.

There were two great moments in the Startup School session from last year. At the 21:15 mark, Haar asks the founders if they know how much people will pay for the service. Then Paul follows up with, “Have you asked them how much you’ve paid?” Marcella replies, “What would be the best way to ask?” PG responds with, “How much will you pay?” PG’s best line of the talk comes at the 22:50 mark, when he asks “Is this the biggest problem you’ve found in the world?”

They face some stiff competition with incumbent TravelJoy, but it’s exciting to see these two make it out of the pit to the stage and into funding. Their Startup School office hours are embedded below. The goods start at 17:59.