Hopper, a rapidly growing travel booking app, raised $100 million in Series D funding.
Led by OMERS Ventures, the funding round will enable Hopper to continue expanding globally in addition to supporting the company’s artificial intelligence (AI) development. Other investors including Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), Brightspark Ventures, Accomplice, BDC Capital IT Venture Fund, Investissement Québec, and Citi Ventures also participated in the funding round.
Over the past year, Hopper has proven itself to be a global leader in mobile-only travel booking apps, reaching over 30 million installs, and is on track to hit $1 billion in sales.
“As the world continues to shift from web to mobile – and to apps in particular – an estimated 70-90 per cent of time spent online is actually taking place on mobile,” says Frederic Lalonde, CEO and co-founder of Hopper. “Of that, 92 per cent of all mobile time is spent in apps – and not mobile web. Hopper is in a unique position to become the go-to way to book travel.”
Hopper is gaining popularity, and not just with first-time downloaders. Over 50 per cent of the company’s sales come from repeat users, who are engaging with the app every four or five days during the trip-planning process. Part of this popularity can be attributed to its use of machine learning to predict future prices for flights and accommodations. The app boasts a 95 per cent recommendation accuracy, using a conversational, push-notification method to alert users about price drops, deals, and personalized travel suggestions.
Hopper is also using AI to change the travel booking experience by conversing with users one-on-one through the app, learning their preferences and using the data to guide purchase decisions. Currently, 25 per cent of bookings through Hopper are a result of AI efforts, with conversion rates on AI-based recommendations 2.6 times higher than users’ own searches. The company plans to continue developing AI solutions to help people save money and book the perfect trip completely on mobile.
“Mobile travel is growing 20 per cent year over year. By continuing to innovate on mobile and ultimately change the way consumers plan and book travel, we believe Hopper has a tremendous opportunity globally,” said Damien Steel, Managing Partner at OMERS Ventures. “We’re proud to continue supporting Hopper as the company further establishes itself as the leader in mobile travel booking.”