Hopper CEO Frederic Lalonde is bemused by the coverage of his travel startup’s “launch,” which supposedly took place this past week, according to various news stories. The company, reportedly in stealth for six years, had just now opened its doors, it was proclaimed. Not quite, says Lalonde. “The site, Hopper.com, has been live since early last spring,” he tells us, noting it has since seen millions of visitors. But around two weeks (not days) ago, the company opened up access directly from the Hopper.com homepage.
As it turned out, that was enough to draw people’s interest. The company, which was founded back in 2007 and has been operating in stealth for some time, had been working on a “big data” solution to the challenges surrounding travel discovery. Still, it’s been more of a gradual launch, rather than a sudden opening of its doors.
If you look in Google, for example, there are 1.5 million Hopper.com search results in the Google index, and the service has gotten around 2 million impressions from Google, plus over 1 million from Facebook, we’re told. “Users have been flowing through the Hopper since most of last year,” says Lalonde, discussing the site’s traffic and growth.
Today, the consumer-facing travel startup founded by former Expedia engineers and backed by $22 million in venture funding now offers site visitors who create an account access to its trip-planning engine, which the company claims is powered by the “world’s largest structured database of travel information.”
READ THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE: Why Travel Startup Hopper, Founded in 2007, Took So Long To “Launch” | TechCrunch.