Hopper's AI Shines

Ariel Ariel

This is a single insight from This Week in Apps #75 - A Bunch of Firsts!. Check out the full article for more insights.

Hopper, the travel company that uses AI to help you with travel, raised $175M this week, claiming the platform is seeing serious growth as travel continues to pick up.

We saw that travel is indeed growing a couple of weeks ago when I looked at the Mobile Download Index for the category, but let's have a look at Hopper's downloads and see just how much growth we're talking about here:

Our estimates show that Hopper ended July with more than a million new downloads, the highest monthly haul in its history. The number is even higher than Hopper's pre-pandemic rally, where it made its way into 752K new devices in February of 2020.

The success Hopper is seeing is a great signal for the travel industry, showing the lost demand from 2020 will make a serious comeback in 2021 and probably 2022 as well.

But it also shows a new trend, which is why Hopper is the top booking app right now, ahead of incumbents like Booking.com and Expedia. The trend is flexibility, something I wouldn't normally associate with travel pre-pandemic.

Hopper touts smart tech (aka. AI) that helps it find cheaper travel options while allowing it to offer cancellation and rebooking for free.

In a small-margin industry that's been hit very, very, very hard, Hopper's algorithmic approach will be loved by travelers and likely disliked by airlines. But, it's the former that calls the shots now, so I firmly suspect we'll see more flexibility from other platforms coming, even if it comes at a loss, to retain users.

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All figures included in this report are estimated. Unless specified otherwise, estimated revenue is always net, meaning it's the amount the developer earned after Apple and Google took their fee.

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