Hopper Lands $170 Million, Launches Travel Partnership With Capital One


Mobile travel app Hopper has pulled in $170 million in additional venture funding fueled by its new partner in the travel industry, Capital One. Hopper said the goal is to create Capital One Travel for the banking giant’s cardholders, according to a Wednesday (March 24) press release.

Hopper had reportedly attained “unicorn” status last year, meaning the startup was worth more than $1 billion, according to Frederic Lalonde, Hopper’s founder and CEO.

“Capital One Travel, powered by Hopper, will launch in the second half of 2021 — at a time when travel is expected to make a return,” the release said. “Capital One Travel will offer a new and innovative way to book travel, including benefits designed specifically for cardholders as they get back to traveling later this year.”

The partnership “will help protect customers from pricing volatility and ensure they get great value when booking flights, hotel, and rental cars,” Hopper said. The new service will “help customers easily change or cancel their reservations,” the company added.

“As travel begins to return, Capital One and Hopper are both focused on finding new ways” to cater to customers. And the new travel partnership will be hooked into Capital One’s rewards setup.

Other investors in this month’s funding round are GS GrowthInovia CapitalWestCap Group and Citi Ventures.

Hopper said it had previously raised $70 million “quietly” last spring. The company said that “in the last two quarters, we’ve scaled our customer support team by 180 percent.”

Last year was a tough one for the travel industry, which lost $1.1 trillion. The business suffered from a 42 percent contraction from the previous year, plunging to $1.5 trillion from $2.6 trillion, the U.S. Travel Association said in a March 17 press release. The trade group cited new data prepared by research firm Tourism Economics.

Jobs relating to the travel industry dropped 5.6 million last year to 11.1 million compared to 2019’s 16.7 million. Jobs lost in and around the travel industry accounted for 65 percent of all jobs lost in the U.S. because of the pandemic.