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Montreal travel app Hopper raises $16 million

Travel search app developer Hopper has raised a $16 million investment, led by the BDC Capital IT Venture Fund, with participation from previous investors OMERS Ventures, Accomplice and Brightspark Ventures, bringing the company’s fundraising total to $38 million.

Based in both Montreal and Cambridge, Massachusetts, Hopper was founded in 2007, and has seen its app downloaded more than three million times.

Hopper spent its first three years in stealth mode trying to aggregate flight destination search data and providing trip research information before eventually pivoting to serve flyers with real-time flight cost data and sending them with notifications, saving the consumer money by suggesting the optimal time to buy their ticket.

Founder Frederic Lalonde sold his previous company Newtrade to Expedia in 2002, going on to become Product VP for Expedia’s Hotel and Packages group.

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He is also on the Board of Directors at MakeMyTrip (MMYT), and is chairman, co-founder and investor in travel and hospitality news site Tnooz.

Partnering with several global distribution systems (GDS) which feed Hopper real-time airfare search data, the app validates fares by sending a direct airfare shopping query through the GDS API before handing off the actual purchase to an airline or an online travel agency, such as Expedia or Travelocity.

Purchases can be made in-app, without leaving Hopper to deal with an OTA, a feature which it added in August.

One major gap for users to date has been the inability of the app’s users to directly book American Airlines through the app, a problem that the company has just announced that it has solved.

In December, Apple placed Hopper at the number 7 position in its App Store Best of 2015 list, the only travel app on that list.

During 2015, Hopper launched flight booking apps for both Apple and Android that tell users the best time to purchase flights with 95% accuracy.

Travelers have used these apps to track prices on more than five million flights, and have been sent push notifications more than seven million times suggesting optimal buy times.

The company employs 25 people “and one dog” in offices in Montreal and Cambridge, and plans to use the new investment to expand its team and accelerate growth.

Hopper hasn’t disclosed the valuation that this new investment brings the company to.

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