Founders Pete Ward, 35, and pal Jerome Touze, 34, started the site in their spare time after returning home from a 'round-the-world' trip with combined debts of over £40,000. As with most great ideas, the two caught up over a drink in a pub to discuss the potential of their idea having only met once before through a business trip!
Having founded the company up in 2002 with the development brain of Mike Lines on board, WAYN secured initial backing from Steve Pankhurst, founder of 'Friends Reunited', in 2003. The growth was unprecedented. WAYN had members in more than 80 countries by the end of 2003, through word of mouth alone.
The success of WAYN in the last few years has gone beyond even Peter and Jerome's wildest expectations, with membership growing from 45,000 users in March 2005 to over 22.4 million members in 193 countries today.
"Back in 2002 we recognised the huge potential for a travel community network. Travel
captures the imagination and meeting people from different places is something that most
of us really enjoy doing."
"We have come a very long way since we had the initial idea for WAYN and we see this as
just the beginning what we now have the financial backing to accomplish all our goals and to
hopefully share with others how the WAYN community can help enrich the way we travel
and interact with others"
"WAYN is a flagship example of the next generation of internet companies born out of the
UK with global potential. The innovative customer proposition, which enables members to
interact with others, based on the places they have been or plan to visit in the future, has
proved to be extremely popular. By sharing tips and introductions with likeminded travellers,
WAYN members can get more out of their leisure time. The WAYN brand has massive
growth potential and I am delighted to be involved."