One still-in-stealth-mode travel site has already secured its Series B round to the tune of $12 million. The Boston-based startup, Hopper, has been in development for nearly five years and has raised a total of $22 million from investors such as OMERS Ventures, Brightspark Ventures and Atlas Venture but few others know exactly what this company is up to and when it will open up to the public.
Behind the thick curtain of secrecy is some type of Internet company building the ultimate search and discovery travel site leveraging big data in big ways. Hopper has attracted some interesting engineer to take on this endeavor, such as VP Technology André Coudé, and CIO Mathieu Patenaude, both formerly from Expedia and CMO Dena Yahya Enos, formerly of TripAdvisor. Now these people know a little something about travel search and discovery.
"Planning a trip can be tedious and frustrating," said Frederic Lalonde, CEO of Hopper, in a statement. "Information is often scattered across the web, making research difficult and time-consuming. Eventually, people feel like they have to settle for just 'good enough.' At Hopper, we are working hard to transform this process and bring the joy and inspiration back to travel planning."
Hopper has pulled data and organized from more than half a billion pages of travel information with plans to double that by the end of the year. This latest round of funding round will help further the company's goal of using big data to take the frustration out of trip planning and make travel search easier and smarter.
But what Hopper is building doesn't seem like it will go head-to-head with Expedia or Kayak and the like, it is more of a tool used under search systems to help catalog and streamline the process.
Hopper pulls data from blog posts, travel providers, and other undisclosed sources -- oh you stealthy companies you.
Hopper is expected to exit its stealth-mode in the second half of 2012.
Until then we will have have to trudge through the mud in travel and wait on baited breath to see what this big reveal will do to the world of vacationing.
This news is coming just days after word that Google has snapped up Frommer's properties to boost its Travel, Places and social integration for Google+.
Music isn't the only leisure activity Google is leveraging to boost its social site service, the big tech entity is also in the process of acquiring the Frommer’s travel brand from the publishing company John Wiley & Sons, Inc. And from the buzz on the street, Frommer’s brand could be merged into Google’s Zagat brand once the acquisition is complete.
The big name is travel has been looking for a buyer since March and the terms of this current deal have not been publically disclosed yet.
Frommer’s, which was founded back in 1957, includes more than 300 guidebooks as well as the Frommers.com website.
Since Google has been using Zagat to increase the engagement of its users on Google+ to help get people talking, sharing and reviewing as much as possible.
When Google snapped up Zagat in September 2011 to really boost up Google+ Local which listings service and Google Places. Once Google secures Frommers, the tips, reviews, Local and Places segments of Google+ will become exponentially more rich.