Price prediction and booking app Hopper has made its first
acquisition – picking up GDX Travel, a Bogota-based company that specializes in
airline distribution. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed.
The acquisition gives Montreal-based Hopper several critical assets.
First, access to GDX Travel’s API to connect directly to more than 25 regional
and low-cost carriers in Latin America via IATA’s NDC, broadening the app’s offering
of fares and ancillary products from these airlines - about half of which are not
available in the global distribution systems.
Second, GDX Travel’s Bogota office will become Hopper’s
Latin America headquarters – an important physical presence in a region that
Hopper says is its second largest market outside of the United Sates, with a
current year-over-year growth rate of more than 100%. GDX Travel co-founder and
CEO James Figueroa is now Hopper’s general manager for Latin America.
And third, the integration of GDX Travel’s 36 employees adds
business and engineering expertise that Hopper will use to ramp up its NDC
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“Airlines all over the world are leveraging NDC to better
market their products into different travel sites, and with GDX’s capabilities
we will be able to work with those airlines all over the world that are moving
in that direction,” says Scott Brodows, Hopper’s vice president of business
Currently Hopper connects to 310 carriers, and Brodows says
they are looking to add airlines in every region of the world – many that are not
available in a GDS or that do not offer all of their fares and products through
GDX Travel will also help to localize Hopper’s content in
terms of languages and payment options suited to Latin America. And Brodows
says the local expertise will also expedite Hopper’s efforts to grow its hotel
business in Latin America.
“We will certainly use the Hopper Latin America team to kick
start our efforts to find additional hotel supply in the region,” he says.
“All the internationalization that we’re going to do will apply
to fare and hotel. So that’s a good additional value we have through this acquisition.”
most recent funding round – a massive $100 million Series D – came in October
2018, and at the time co-founder and CEO Fred Lalonde said international
expansion would be an area of focus.
January of this year, Hopper gained a foothold in Europe through an investment –
described as “multi-million-dollar” – from Lufthansa Group and the Lufthansa
Innovation Hub focused on artificial intelligence.