Hopper, a travel-tech company based in Boston and Montreal, said Wednesday that it has raised $170 million in new venture capital, a sign that investors are betting on some form of travel returning in the near future.
Hopper’s travel-focused app uses an algorithm powered by artificial intelligence to make pricing predictions and travel recommendations for users. Over the past year, following a $70 million funding round last spring, employees at Hopper have been building out several aspects of its travel app as the company tries to emerge from the pandemic stronger. Hopper created a feature for car rentals and added a new process for cancellations and booking changes.
The funding is part of Hopper’s new partnership with Capital One to power the Capital One Travel platform, which will use the startup’s technology to help cardholders book flights, hotels, and cars. This feature is expected to debut in the second half of the year.
Hopper was founded in 2007 but did not launch its travel app until years later. For a brief period, the company pumped the brakes on its original idea of building a tool to suggest vacation ideas, spending time focused on mobile airfare-shopping instead.
Although the pandemic has wreaked havoc on the travel industry, it appears Hopper was able to withstand the hit. After being one of the first companies to cut employees last March, Hopper reported triple-digit revenue growth last year, and over the past two quarters it has grown its customer service team by 180 percent to meet growing demand for its services.
“Although last year was the most challenging year the travel industry has ever faced, our team at Hopper has never felt more confident in our future,” said Frederic Lalonde, cofounder and chief executive of Hopper, in a blog post.
The latest round of funding was led by Capital One with participation from GS Growth, Inovia Capital, WestCap Group, and Citi Ventures.