Hopper: This App Uses AI To Help Travelers Find The Best Deals

By Dan Anderson ● October 10, 2018

Hopper is a Montreal, Canada-based mobile travel booking app that utilizes artificial intelligence to help users find hotels and flights. Recently, Hopper raised $100 million in Series D funding to build its AI algorithms and expand internationally.

So far, Hopper has surpassed 30 million installations and 75 million planned trips. And Hopper is expected to hit nearly $1 billion in sales this year, according to TechCrunch.

TechCrunch’s sources said that Hopper’s valuation with this round is expected to hit about $780 million (nearly 1 billion Canadian dollars). In Hopper’s last round of funding in late 2016, the company was valued at $300 million. So far, Hopper has raised a total of $235 million. In terms of rankings, Hopper has maintained a presence in the top 10 of travel in the US based on App Annie’s stats.

Hopper CEO and co-founder Frederic Lalonde told TechCrunch that the company is not profitable yet because the company is reinvesting all of its returns into growing the company.

This round of funding was led by Omers, a previous investor. Repeat investors Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), Accomplice, Brightspark Ventures, Investissement Québec, BDC Capital IT Venture Fund also participated in this round. And new investor Citi Ventures also joined this round.

What distinguishes Hopper from other travel apps is that it uses an AI framework that helps users find good deals and discover potential trips. And artificial intelligence is used for building the profiles of users and their interests.

After personalizing the tastes of users, Hopper will start sending out push notifications to them. Based on the engagement of those push notifications, Hopper will further personalize the tastes of its users.

“We’re able to capture our users’ intent in an unprecedented way in the industry because users start watching their trips four to five months in advance of departure,” said Lalonde via TechCrunch. “During that period, we build a relationship through an ongoing conversation about their trip, which primarily takes place via push notifications. User intent is key to our ability to implement further algorithms based on AI.”

About 25% of Hopper’s bookings were based on artificial intelligence, meaning the trips were booked based on suggestions rather than specific searches. Lalonde told TechCrunch that the conversion rates on AI-based recommendation notifications are 2.6 times higher than the ones that were searched for.