Travel search startup Hopper has raised $16 million (CAN), in an investment round led by BDC Capital IT Venture Fund.
Past investors OMERS Ventures, an investment arm of one of Canada’s largest pension funds, Accomplice, and Brightspark also participated. The startup says it can't disclose the valuation the fresh investment places on it.
This growth round brings the startup's total funding to date to $38 million. The company is hiring for nine positions.
Since the start of 2015, it has launched flight booking apps for Apple and Android that also tell consumers when is the best time to buy with a claimed 95% accuracy. Last year, its app was named by Apple as best travel app of the year and was also praised by Buzzfeed, the New York Times, Tech Insider, Time, and Vogue.
The company says its apps have been downloaded 3 million times. Travelers have used the apps to track price changes on more than 5 million trips and to receive push notifications about trips they're watching, with more than 7 million push notifications sent last month.
One early flaw with the apps was that American Airlines fares were not available for direct booking, but that has been recently been rectified.
The app's other recent innovations are "QuickTap Booking" -- the company's equivalent to Amazon’s 1-Click Ordering -- which aims to let travelers book flights in as few steps as possible on their mobile device.
The company, based in Cambridge, Mass., and Montreal, raised its last round in 2012. It later pivoted from its original conception of aggregating destination search and building a comprehensive trip-research tool. Mobile-first consumer behavior completely changed the company's value proposition and growth prospects, it says.
Hopper receives a real-time feed of airfare search data from a number of global distribution system (GDS) partners, resulting from consumer flight searches made on numerous online travel agencies. Before presenting a fare or sending a low price notification, it validates any fare discovered in its real-time feed by performing a direct airfare shopping query through the GDS API.
It hands off the actual purchase transaction to an airline or an OTA such as Expedia or Travelocity.Correction March 29: In August, the company began fulfilling the bookings in-app now itself, in a move away from the metasearch category.
Disclosure: Frederic Lalonde is chairman, co-founder, and an investor in Tnooz.