Hopper acquires GDX Travel, advancing NDC capacity and geographic growth

Hopper 航空
Published on: November 14, 2019
Author: Amy Liu

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 connections worldwide.

“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 development.

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 a GDS.

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.”

Hopper’s 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.

In 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.