Travel Firm Hopper Raises $ 175 Million Series G
- Hopper raised a $ 175 million Series G for a valuation of $ 3.5 billion.
- Founder and CEO Frédéric Lalonde wants to create an Amazon-type “super app” for the travel industry.
- The travel fintech shared their 28-slide pitch deck with Insider.
- See more stories on the Insider business page.
Travel fintech Hopper has raised a Series G of $ 175 million at a valuation of $ 3.75 billion.
The Canadian startup, founded in 2007, helps customers save money through AI-powered price comparisons and forecasting. It does this through a range of options, including air, train, and accommodation.
Hopper also offers add-ons for travelers who want to freeze a price or rebook at no additional cost. The company told Insider that these services represent 50% of revenue, as travelers want to pay for flexible bookings.
The travel agency said it bears the financial risk when prices fluctuate and covers the costs, which is why it identifies itself as a fintech. Hopper Cloud, a recently launched enterprise offering, allows businesses to sell these features directly to their customers.
The cycle was led by GPI Capital, which supported
, Zomato and Airbnb. The Series G increase brings the company’s total raised to nearly $ 600 million, and comes after a $ 170 million Series F in March that pushed Hopper’s valuation to over $ 1 billion. dollars for the first time.
Founder and CEO Frédéric Lalonde, former vice-president of Expedia, wants to create a “super app” for travel.
Travel has stopped during the pandemic, and according to a UN World Tourism Organization tracker, international arrivals between January and May 2021 are down 85% compared to the same period in 2019.
Although the pandemic has slowed funding for travel startups until 2020, Crunchbase reported that deals are starting to pick up.
Hopper said he’s seeing an increase in bookings due to pent-up demand, but 85% of his business is in domestic tourism. The company said it had its busiest day on record on Tuesday, August 17, but was unable to disclose numbers to Insider.
The new funds will fuel Hopper’s ambition to establish a presence in “all major” geographic and industry verticals, including home and operations.
It starts with an expansion in Europe and Asia by the end of the year.
The app’s user base is currently focused on North America, where coronavirus vaccination has slowed despite concerns about new variants. Lalonde expects the Delta variant to have “little impact” on travel demand, despite widespread disruption last year.
“I think we’re going to see a slowdown over the next couple of weeks, but it’s all going to catch up in the second half of the year,” he told Insider. “So the demand supercycle that started at the start of this year will continue.”
Lalonde said he is not chasing markets with higher vaccination rates, like Europe, where travel rules have also loosened, but is building Hopper on a five to ten year plan.
“A lot of things were unknown, but we made the conscious decision not to build for a pandemic,” he said. “You just can’t build a successful travel business for a pandemic.”
The company has pressed a break on certain projects such as its business travel product, instead of pivoting resources to car rental services.
Hopper abandoned all of its offices, except its head office in Montreal, and continued to grow despite the layoffs. The company said it started 2020 with 362 employees and now has around 1,200 employees, and many of those who were made redundant are returning.
It is planned to increase the workforce by 500 additional people, including 300 for customer service.
The company is also looking to hire “exceptional founders” through acquisitions, a strategy, according to Lalonde, who is responsible for the recent growth of Hopper, as its rental car and cloud services have been specially designed by the teams acquired. .
Check out Hopper’s pitch deck here: