Hopper has raised CA$130m (USD 100 million) in a Series D round with the cash earmarked to expand its presence globally, further AI enhancements and recruitment.
The funding brings the total raised so far by the mobile-only business to CA$235 million (USD 184 million).
Frederic Lalonde, CEO and co-founder of Hopper, said:
“The world continues to shift from web to mobile, and to apps in particular, An estimated 70-90% of time spent online is actually taking place on mobile. Of that, 92% of all mobile time is spent in apps — and not mobile web.”
The funding comes after a strong 12 months for Hopper, which has now been downloaded more than 30 million times with the business on track to break through the $1 billion in sales barrier, 90% of which comes via its conversational push notifications.
It also talked up the fact that more than 50% of bookings comes from repeat users, which is of note when most travel apps are deleted after one month.
The business is already getting 25% of sales from markets outside the US – it added 47 European low-cost carriers to its inventory, resulting in a 154% year-on-year increase in sales from Europe. The first overseas market is seriously targetted was Australia, where sales increased by 290% year-on-year.
It outlined its international expansion priorities as “language, currency and pricing localization”.
Hopper’s statement also revealed that a quarter of sales were the result of AI – “meaning users are booking trips they didn’t explicitly search for but the app knew to suggest” and that “conversion rates on AI-based recommendation notifications are 2.6X higher than ones for which the users explicitly searched.”
In terms of recruitment, it is looking to double its headcount over the next year from the 200 or so it currently employs in Montreal, Cambridge MA and around the world.
The Series D was led by OMERS Ventures, the investment arm of a big Canadian pension fund. Damien Steel, managing partner, noted Hopper’s “tremendous opportunity globally”. OMERS was an early investor in Hopper back in 2012.
Other existing investors Accomplice, Brightspark Ventures, Investissement Québec, BDC Capital IT Venture Fund took part in the Series D, with Citi Ventures getting involved for the first time.
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