Hopper Raises $ 175 Million at More Than $ 3.5 Billion Valuation As Travel Rises, Its Fintech Tools Help Alleviate Concerns About Variants

Travel tech company Hopper has raised a $ 175 million Series G, the company said today. That’s about the same amount he raised in an F Series round that ended earlier this year. These are new funds, bringing its total raised to date to nearly $ 600 million, with the company now valued at over $ 3.5 billion. This latest cycle comes as Hopper experiences impressive growth as travel begins to increase following the recent drop in cases in North America following large-scale COVID-19 vaccination campaigns.

Hopper says its revenues are set to increase 330% from last year, which is hardly surprising, given that 2020 has seen the depths of the pandemic and a widespread crash in the industry. lively world of travel. The most impressive statistic is that Hopper’s revenue is already up 100% from its last pre-pandemic quarter, indicating that the tough choices and aggressive re-prioritization of its products and businesses that it has suffered as a result of the pandemic are working well.

Of course, there is a looming specter that threatens the global narrative of a rebound in the travel industry: Delta and other COVID-19 variants, which are currently leading to another wave of resurgence of the disease in North America. North. I asked Hopper CEO and Co-Founder Fred Lalonde about Delta’s impact on Hopper’s business so far.

“Currently, we haven’t seen any additional impact of the Delta variant on Hopper’s domestic bookings,” he said. “Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen an increase in domestic bookings and a decrease in international bookings on Hopper as travelers seek to stay closer to home. Since Hopper’s customer base is predominantly younger, leisure travelers and the majority of our bookings have been domestic throughout the pandemic, our domestic bookings remain stable. “

Regardless of the impact on the nature of bookings, however, Lalonde notes that Hopper’s line of fintech products (something the company increasingly sees as its key differentiation) is increasingly in demand, as elements uncertainty such as the impact of the Delta variant enter customer journeys. planning considerations.

“We are, however, seeing increased demand for our flexible booking products in recent weeks,” said Lalonde. “In fact, Hopper’s Cancel for Any Reason purchases are up 33% from early July, Change for Any Reason is up 9.3% from early July, and the change of reservation guarantee has increased. 12% over the past month, as travelers seek more flexibility and protection while traveling. “

These AI-powered tools offer protections against price fluctuations and volatility, hassle-free rebooking (even until the day before your trip), re-booking between airlines for missed connections and more.

Image credits: Hopper

Hopper is also looking to use these newly raised funds to further bolster her business through an increase in customer service hiring (she has already grown the team by 200% and rolled out a series of new automated tools that Lalonde says solve 60% of its incoming requests. “Immediately”). The company intends to recruit 500 new employees in the near future, including 300 dedicated to customer service roles.

Another area of ​​interest for Hopper with this funding is the acquisition: The company’s product expansion goals include opening rental homes on the platform, and its global ambitions include expanding into Europe. and in Asia.

When it lifted its Series F in March, Hopper also announced it would white label its reservation products through Hopper Cloud and first partner with Capital One to launch a travel reservation portal for its cardholders. card, which is set to debut later this year. Since then, Hopper has also revealed that he will work with Amadeus to deploy his fintech products to any travel vendor who wants to use them, including airlines, online travel agencies, and more.

COVID-19 has obviously been a shock to the system in every industry and almost every aspect of daily life, but the travel industry has probably seen some of the most dramatic upheavals. Hopper’s ability to attract large pools of new funding in the aftermath of the pandemic, including this new round led by GPI Capital, reflects the impressive flexibility and speed with which it has been able to shape a whole new type of business. digital travel market that anticipates – and even thrives on – volatility.

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