Hopper nears launch with additional $12M in funding
Travel search startup Hopper has announced an additional $12 million investment round led by OMERS Ventures, the venture capital arm of one of Canada’s largest pension funds.
Hopper, founded in 2007 and headquartered in Cambridge, MA, USA, has been working on one very ambitious goal: to bring inspiration back to the travel planning process through aggregating travel information into what will likely be the world’s most comprehensive database of travel-related data.
Hopper has already crawled more than half a billion pages of travel data and has plans to double that by the end of the year.
Frederic Lalonde, Hopper’s CEO:
“Planning a trip can be tedious and frustrating. Information is often scattered across the web, making research difficult and time-consuming. Eventually, people feel like they have to settle for just ‘good enough.’ At Hopper, we are working hard to transform this process and bring the joy and inspiration back to travel planning.”
With extensive travel technology background from companies like Expedia and TripAdvisor, Hopper’s executive team is poised to also seek to integrate OTAs and other distribution outlets to not only facilitate inspiration, but also bookings as well.
Derek Smyth of OMERS Ventures will be joining the Hopper board, alongside Atlas Venture partner Jeff Fagnan, co-founders Frederic Lalonde and Joost Ouwerkerk, PhoCusWright chairman Philip Wolf and Brightspark managing partner Sophie Forest.
Mr. Smyth explains the investment:
“It’s really important to OMERS Ventures that we are leading a significant round of financing for a company like Hopper that has the strong potential to be a game changer in its industry. Hopper’s management team is world-class, with the big data expertise required to completely revolutionize the way customers discover and book their online travel. Hopper is exactly the kind of company we look to partner with over the long term as it disrupts an entire industry.”
OMERS Ventures has previously invested in Hootsuite, BuildDirect, and Wave Accounting Inc., and seeks companies with significant potential and market opportunity, focusing on high-growth companies in the technology, media and telecommunications sectors.
Disclosure: Frederic Lalonde is chairman, co-founder and an investor in Tnooz.
Nick Vivion is a reporter for Tnooz, based in New Orleans, USA.
His passion for travel technology led him to travel around the world shooting travel videos for Current TV and Lonely Planet TV in 2006 and 2007.
He shot on Mini-DV, edited on a white MacBook, uploaded and shared online as he traveled. His moxie for travel video has resulted in over two million views on his YouTube partner channel.
In addition to travel, Nick co-founded of one of the web’s most talked about LGBT media sites, Unicorn Booty, and has gone "blog-to-brick" with a bricks-and-mortar restaurant called Booty's Street Food in New Orleans – serving street food from around the world.