Airfare prediction app Hopper has grown from 1 million downloads to over 10 million in the course of a year – a trajectory that’s allowed it to pull in $82 million CAD (~$61.2 million US) in additional funding to continue to grow its business. The Series C round was led by North American pension fund manager, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, and includes participation from existing investors, Brightspark Ventures, Accomplice, OMERS, Investissement Québec and BDC Capital IT Venture Fund.
The startup competes within a crowded travel market where incumbent brands are consolidating, as with Priceline’s buy of Kayak, and Expedia’s acquisition of Travelocity and Orbitz. This gives Hopper some hefty competition when it comes to its mobile-only airfare price prediction and booking software application.
However, the company says it grown its sales by 23 times over the past year, and is now selling $1 million in flights per day.
Additionally, its users have tracked 18 million trips on its app, which is being installed over a million times per month.
Hopper’s secret sauce is its forecasting software, which the company claims can predict future flight prices with up to 95 percent accuracy a year in advance.
This data is put to use in a consumer-friendly mobile application, where customers can track trips, learn about other travel savings, and be alerted when it’s the best time to book. When prices fall, Hopper sends out push notifications to convert the app’s users to airfare buyers.
The app’s use of push notifications is what’s been helping boost sales. Today, over 20 million notifications are sent out monthly, and 90 percent of bookings are from those alerts.
With the additional funds, Hopper plans to continue its international expansion plans. Already, the app sells tickets in 126 countries, and it’s aiming to grow further in over 20 countries across Latin America, Europe and Asia in early 2017. The company will also use the funds to grow its team from 40 to 120 employees in Montreal and Cambridge by the end of next year.