Travel app Hopper raises $96 million from Capital One to double down on social commerce • TechCrunch | Tech US News

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Clearly, the slowdown hasn’t hurt travel industry investors. Travel booking startup Hopper announced today that it has closed a $96 million follow-on investment from Capital One, bringing the company’s total to nearly $730 million. The new money will go toward several efforts, CEO and co-founder Frederic Lalonde said in a press release, including supporting Hopper’s new social commerce initiatives.

As part of the funding, Hopper says it is extending its partnership with Capital One (which led Hopper’s Series F) to create new travel products aimed at Capital One customers. Hopper’s technology already powers Capital One Travel and Premier Collection, Capital One’s hotel and resort marketplace exclusively for Capital One Venture X cardholders. It’s a safe bet that similar experiences will follow along that line.

“With Hopper, we’ve found a partner that can not only match that pace, but help us continue to challenge the status quo and take a differentiated approach to building a world-class travel brand,” said Capital One Managing Vice President Matt Knise, in a statement. . “Through this strategic partnership, we are well-positioned to adapt to a rapidly changing travel environment and create industry-leading solutions for our customers throughout their journey.”

Founded by Frederic Lalonde and Joost Ouwerkerk in 2007, Hopper spent six years stealthily building what it claimed at the time was the “world’s largest structured database of travel information.” The company’s web crawling technology ingested blogs, photo-sharing sites and other sources of information about places and geo-tagged them in a massive database of places. But after Hopper’s public debut in 2014, the company’s leadership decided to go mobile and devote engineering resources to flight prediction, creating a tool that continuously monitors airline prices and sends price change alerts via push notifications.

Since then, Hopper has become 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 that will exceed $4.5 billion this year. Hopper differentiates itself from rival travel services (e.g. Travelocity) with features such as airfare price freezes and flight interruption guarantees, the former of which the company says accounts for about 40% of the app’s total revenue.

Last year, Hopper entered the business-to-business market with the launch of Hopper Cloud, a partnership program that allows travel providers such as Kayak, Marriott and Trip.com to resell Hopper’s technology and travel agency products. through a white label portal. Hopper claims Cloud has seen rapid adoption, now comprising more than 40% of Hopper’s business; Lalonde claims Hopper Cloud is on track to make more in 2022 than all of Hopper did last year.

On the consumer side, this spring, Hopper shifted its focus to in-app promotions, discounts and sales events. Social commerce is the company’s next big push, based on features like referrals, share-to-win, team shopping and daily gifts, which reward users with discounts on travel purchases for launching the app and sharing with friends.

Hopper was last valued at $5 billion, TechCrunch reported in early February. The company, which has an estimated 11.2% of the third-party air travel market in the United States, plans to go public.

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