Skift Take

More blurring of the lines between travel technology and financial services, and the latest example of investors seeing potential in the sector's return.

Online travel agency Hopper has raised $170 million in new funding, in a round led by banks and credit card company Capital One, with participation from new and existing investors GS Growth, Inovia Capital, WestCap Group and Citi Ventures. This latest round at $1 billion valuation makes Hopper a rare new unicorn in travel startup land.

Hopper will now power Capital One Travel, the booking platform used by its cardholders.

Capital One Travel, alongside Citigroup and Mastercard, is a customer of cxLoyalty. At the end of December last year, cxLoyalty Group Holdings sold its global loyalty division to JPMorgan Chase & Co. The deal included cxLoyalty’s technology platforms, full service travel agency, gift card, merchandise, and points bank businesses.

Some of the money will also go towards the launch of Hopper Cloud, a new B2B initiative. “Creating the most customer-centric travel marketplace via the Hopper app has always been a top priority, and Hopper is excited to announce that it will also be utilizing this new investment to launch Hopper Cloud,” the company said in a statement.

The Series F cash injection follows a $70 million round of funding in May, which came just after the company made a series of layoffs.

It brings the total raised to $400 million since its launch in 2007.

Hopper will now power Capital One Travel. Picture: Capital One/Facebook

Hopper said it saw triple-digit revenue growth in 2020. “This is largely due to our product innovation, as now more than ever, travelers want flexibility and more control over their itineraries,” the statement added.

Investors are seeing opportunities in travel’s rebound, and this latest round exceeds the $155 million that corporate travel platform TripActions received in January this year.

Hopper’s partnership with Capital One also reflects the ongoing merger between travel agencies and financial services. Earlier this month, expense management companies Emburse and Coupa revealed their own acquisitions in the travel space.

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Tags: capital one, coupa, credit cards, emburse, hopper, jp morgan chase, loyalty, tripactions

Photo credit: Hopper founders Frederic Lalonde and Joost Ouwerkerk. Hopper

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