Deena Varshavskaya

Deena Varshavskaya is the founder and CEO of Wanelo (“wah-nee-loh,” from Want, Need, Love) a digital mall where users can discover and buy products from anywhere online.[1] She lives in San Francisco, California.[2][3]

Deena Varshavskaya
Alma materCornell University (did not graduate)
OccupationCEO of Wanelo

Early lifeEdit

Varshavskaya was born and raised in Yakutia, Eastern Siberia, by a stay-at-home mother and a political journalist father.[4][5] Her parents divorced when she was 16; she, along with her father's family, moved to the United States.[5][6][7][8] She studied psychology, computer science and film studies[9] at Cornell University, but dropped out two courses short of graduating.[10][11]


After dropping out of Cornell, Varshavskaya moved to New York City[4] and launched her first web startup, ReelACT, a talent video directory for actors.[10][11] She then moved to Los Angeles[4] and worked for a social network doing product management and user experience design for two years.[10][11]

After this, Varshavskaya was founder and CEO of experience design agency, Dynamik Interactive, where she worked with large-scale consumer web properties designing digital and social experiences.[12][13][14]

Varshavskaya came up with the concept for Wanelo in 2006 after realizing the need for a different online shopping environment that empowers the individual.[15][16][17] Varshavskaya wanted to know what her friends were shopping for, but there was not yet an existing platform that made online social shopping easy.[18] In April 2011, Varshavskaya moved to San Francisco to raise funding. After 40 investor rejections, she closed her first round of funding and launched the company in 2012.[4][5][19] As of August 2013, Wanelo has 11 million registered users.[5][20][21] The company has raised $14 million in funding.[22][23][24]

In early 2021, Varshavskaya became an early user of the start-up social media app, Clubhouse. She quickly established herself as an influencer and key contributor in the vibrant cryptocurrency community that has formed on the platform. Considered a Bitcoin maximalist, she prescribes to the idea that "the conditions that led to the launch and bootstrapping of the Bitcoin economy can't or won't repeat" and that "while some may tolerate the wider market for cryptocurrencies, this is only so long as it validates Bitcoin's dominance."[25]


Vanity Fair’s November 2013 issue named Varshavskaya one of their fifteen "up-and-comers to keep an eye on".[26][27] She was featured as one of the 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs in 2013 and 2014 by Goldman Sachs.[28][2] TechCrunch gave Varshavskaya the Best Ecommerce Application award for the Wanelo Shopping app at the Crunchies Awards 2013.[29] In 2014 she was named one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business,[30] included in Details Magazine’s list of Digital Mavericks,[31] named an “Influencer” on the National Retail Federation's “List of People Shaping Retail’s Future,"[32] and recognized by Glamour Magazine as one of "35 Women Under 35 Who Are Changing the Tech Industry".[33] In 2015, she was named to AskMen's list of the “Top 99 Most Outstanding Women”[34] and included on the San Francisco Business Journal's “40 under 40” list.[35]


  1. ^ "3 brands that are driving the future of social-mobile shopping". The Next Web. 24 May 2014. Retrieved August 2, 2014.
  2. ^ a b Julie Ma (June 25, 2013). "Wanelo: The Online Shopping Site Built by a Woman for Women". New York Magazine The Cut. Retrieved October 26, 2013.
  3. ^ Jenna Wortham (March 27, 2013). "Wanelo, Social Commerce Site, Picks Up Speed". New York Times Bits. Retrieved October 26, 2013.
  4. ^ a b c d "Like Mall Browsing, With a Click". The New York Times. Retrieved August 2, 2014.
  5. ^ a b c d "With Enough Customers, You Don't Need a Product". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved August 2, 2014.
  6. ^ Liz Gannes (April 30, 2013). "Meet Deena Varshavskaya, CEO of Social Shopping Sensation Wanelo". All Things D. Retrieved October 28, 2013.
  7. ^ Tomio Geron (March 27, 2013). "Inside Wanelo, The Hot Social Shopping Service". Forbes. Retrieved October 28, 2013.
  8. ^ "Deena Varshavskaya - Founder & CEO". Venture Fizz. Archived from the original on October 21, 2013. Retrieved October 28, 2013.
  9. ^ "From Siberia to Silicon Valley". Women 2.0. Retrieved October 28, 2013.
  10. ^ a b c "Deena Varshavskaya". Annual Summit 2013. Archived from the original on October 21, 2013. Retrieved October 28, 2013.
  11. ^ a b c Tsotsis, Alexia (April 16, 2013). "Software Is Eating The Mall". Tech Crunch. Retrieved October 28, 2013.
  12. ^ "How Deena Varshavskaya Rocks The Tech World". Girls in Tech Los Angeles. Archived from the original on November 4, 2013. Retrieved October 28, 2013.
  13. ^ "Interview with Deena Varshavskaya, Wanelo". Socaltech. Retrieved October 28, 2013.
  14. ^ "Deena Varshavskaya". First Round. Archived from the original on November 4, 2013. Retrieved October 28, 2013.
  15. ^ Jenna Wortham (August 30, 2013). "Which Start-Up Could Be the Next Big Thing?". The New York Times. Retrieved October 28, 2013.
  16. ^ John Patrick Pullen (August 11, 2013). "Giving Ecommerce a Social Twist". Entrepreneur. Retrieved October 28, 2013.
  17. ^ Jennifer Wang (May 23, 2011). "How Polyvore Became a Trend-Setter in Social Shopping". Entrepreneur. Retrieved October 28, 2013.
  18. ^ Jenna Wortham (January 24, 2013). "Wanelo: Social Commerce Site Is Big With Young Shoppers". The New York Times Bits. Retrieved October 28, 2013.
  19. ^ "The Power Women Who Are Reinventing The Way You Shop Fashion Online". Forbes. Retrieved August 2, 2014.
  20. ^ Jenna Wortham (August 17, 2013). "Hanging Out at the E-Mall". The New York Times. Retrieved October 28, 2013.
  21. ^ Janessa Mangone (September 18, 2013). "Wanelo: Pinterest's Younger, More Attractive Sister". Social Media Today. Archived from the original on October 21, 2013. Retrieved October 28, 2013.
  22. ^ Rebecca Grant (May 7, 2013). "Wanelo 3.0 makes e-commerce less 'primitive' by organizing products around people". Venture Beat. Retrieved October 28, 2013.
  23. ^ Natalia Angulo (July 26, 2013). "Wanelo, Next Verb in Digital Dictionary?". Fox Business. Retrieved October 28, 2013.
  24. ^ Alexia Tsotsis (May 7, 2013). "Internet Mall Wanelo Gets Personal With Wanelo 3.0". Tech Crunch. Retrieved October 28, 2013.
  25. ^ Rizzo, Pete. "Against Cryptocurrency: The Ethical Argument for Bitcoin Maximalism". Forbes. Retrieved 2021-11-20.
  26. ^ "Deena Varshavskaya talks retail, mobile, and empowerment". Forbes. Retrieved August 2, 2014.
  27. ^ Max Chafkin (November 2013). "The Next Establishment". Vanity Fair. Archived from the original on October 26, 2013. Retrieved October 26, 2013.
  28. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-11-24. Retrieved 2013-12-16.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  29. ^ "Wanelo Voted Best E-Commerce App, Crunchies Awards 2013". TechCrunch. Retrieved August 2, 2014.
  30. ^ "Most Creative People 2014 49: Deena Varshavskaya". Fast Company. Retrieved August 2, 2014.
  31. ^ "Digital Mavericks 2014: Meet the tech innovators revolutionizing our cultures—and our lives". Details Magazine. Retrieved August 2, 2014.
  32. ^ "The List 2015: The Influencers". National Retail Federation. Archived from the original on April 27, 2015. Retrieved April 21, 2015.
  33. ^ "35 Women Under 35 Who Are Changing the Tech Industry". Glamour Magazine. Retrieved April 21, 2015.
  34. ^ "Top 99 Most Outstanding Women 2015". AskMen. Retrieved April 21, 2015.
  35. ^ "40 Under 40 Class of 2015: Retail honorees". San Francisco Business Journal. Retrieved April 21, 2015.

External linksEdit