DHARMA – a travel startup that plans and sells multi-day trips hosted by the world’s most inspiring people and brands – announced today that it raised $4.7 million in Pre-Series A funding led by San Francisco-based Convivialite Ventures, with notable participation from marketplace-focused FJ Labs, Equinox and Soul Cycle owner Stephen Ross, and media giant Liontree.
Other notable investors and angels include Mubadala-backed Shorooq Partners, Matt Higgins from Shark Tank, football icon Eric Cantona, consumer fund Goodwater, and Skift founder Rafat Ali. Following a pre-seed raise in 2021 and a seed raise last year, this round brings DHARMA’s total funding to $10 million in equity.
Following a recent partnership with Paramount Global to launch Paris by Emily, the first official travel experience for the hit Netflix series Emily in Paris, this funding will enable DHARMA to continue expanding its roster of world-class creators to offer multi-day travel experiences in new verticals like culinary, sports, fashion, and lifestyle tourism.
This oversubscribed Pre-Series A raise is a testament to DHARMA and an impressive trajectory in a post-COVID world that has created a unique opportunity for disruption in the broader travel space. And the startup’s offering at the intersection of the growing creator economy and broader macro trends like the rise of loneliness and growing consumer spending on experiences versus products have given it a unique position in the travel ecosystem.
“Our core conviction is that the future of travel is passion-based. If for the past 50 years, people have traveled for the where, the next 50 years people will travel for the why. That’s the future Dharma is enabling. We’re proud of being based in the UAE, one of the most future-forward travel markets in the world, but equally proud that what we do has resonated with investors globally. The idea that you could seamlessly book your next trip hosted by your favorite chef, surfer, or fitness instructor is both universal and extremely personal.”
— Charaf El Mansouri, CEO and Co-Founder at DHARMA
“Our goal is to continue attracting and retaining the most inspiring people and brands in the world by enabling them to create and host authentic travel experiences for their communities. It’s not just about creating an exciting and meaningful new revenue stream for creators, it’s also about nurturing their community and creating moments of IRL connection.”
— Nisma Benani, CRO and Co-Founder at DHARMA
“The team at Convivialite Venture is thrilled to support DHARMA’s next phase of growth as they look to become the key player in the passion travel space. We believe in their vision of connecting the world through the power of shared experience.”
— Wendy Wattebled, Partner at Convivalite Ventures