Clearly, the downturn has not unnerved investors in the travel industry.Travel bookings launched hopper today Announce It closed a follow-on investment of $96 million from Capital One, bringing the company’s total raised to nearly $730 million. CEO and co-founder Frederic Lalonde said in a press release that the new cash will be used for a number of efforts, including supporting Hopper’s new social commerce initiative.
As part of the funding, Hopper said it was expanding its partnership with Capital One (the latter lead Hopper’s Series F) aims to create new travel products for Capital One customers. Hopper’s technology already powers Capital One Travel and Premier Collection, Capital One’s hotel and resort marketplace, available only to Capital One Venture X cardholders. To be sure, a similar experience is coming.
“With Hopper, we have found a partner who can not only keep pace with this pace, but also help us continue to challenge the status quo and take a differentiated approach to building a world-class travel brand,” said Matt Knise, vice president of management at Capital One, in the statement. “Through this strategic partnership, we are well positioned to adapt to the ever-changing travel environment and create industry-leading solutions for our customers in their travel journeys.”
Founded in 2007 by Frederic Lalonde and Joost Ouwerkerk, Hopper spent six years secretly building what it then claimed was “the world’s largest database of structured travel information.” The company’s web crawler technology ingests blogs, photo-sharing sites and other sources of information about regions and tags them to geographic locations in a vast database of locations. But after Hopper’s public debut in 2014, the company’s leadership decided to turn to mobile and put engineering resources into flight forecasting, building a tool that continuously monitors airline prices and sends alerts on price changes via push notifications.
Since then, Hopper has grown into one of the largest travel apps in North America, with more than 80 million downloads and sales of flights, hotels, homes and rental cars on the platform, and will exceed $4.5 billion this year. Hopper differentiates itself from rival travel services such as Travelocity by features like airfare freezes and flight disruption guarantees, which the company says make up about 40% of its total app revenue.
Last year, Hopper entered the B2B market with the launch of Hopper Cloud, a partnership program that allows travel suppliers such as Kayak, Marriott and Trip.com to resell Hopper’s fintech and travel agency products through a white-label portal. Hopper claims Cloud has exploded in popularity and now accounts for more than 40% of Hopper’s business; Lalonde claims Hopper Cloud’s revenue in 2022 is on track to surpass all of Hopper’s revenue last year.
On the consumer side, this spring, Hopper shifted its focus to in-app promotions, discounts and sales. Social commerce is the company’s next big push, built on features like referrals, shared revenue, team purchases and daily gifts that reward users with discounts on travel purchases when launching the app and sharing with friends.
Hopper was last valued at $5 billion, TechCrunch report Early February. The company — which has an estimated 11.2 percent share of the U.S. third-party air travel market — plans to eventually go public.