Wahanda raises £1.5m for socnet for spa users

Wahanda, a social network for people who use spas and other “wellness” products, has raised £1.5 million, in large part from Ambient Sound Investments, the fund created by the former founding engineers from Skype.

The site aims to be a destination for people to learn about spas, treatments and practitioners, putting it together with transactional abilities (to search, find, book and purchase treatments or vouchers) and a user community of recommendations, reviews, and information. The investment should be seen in the context of a greater number of luxury purchasers coming online, such as the recent investment in Astleyclarke.com by Index Ventures. The global spa economy is estimated to be worth $60 billion and is around $18 billion in size in Europe.

Wahanda’s founders are a pretty experienced bunch and include former executives from lastminute.com and Yahoo!. They count among board members an investors Mr Wolf Hengst, the former President of Worldwide Operations at Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, ; Brent Hoberman, co-founder of lastminute.com; Mr Stefan Glaenzer, former executive chairman of Last.fm.