In his LinkedIn publication, Wang said this was the first layoff in his career. “I had the incredible privilege of launching the Hopper business in Asia Pacific, where we actively operated the Hopper application in up to six countries and won approximately five Hopper Cloud contracts as well as others in course, leading the growth rate overall. Hopper’s international expansion.
In his post, he said these wins were made possible by an “awesome cross-functional team (BD, PM, English, Growth, etc.) in the APAC region, which was also unfortunately impacted.”
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That speed has now been reduced by the latest “organizational changes,” which Hopper said were necessary to evolve into a full-scale travel platform. She highlighted efforts to expand beyond its roots as a mobile travel app known for predicting the best time to book flights.
Its B2B team in APAC is understood to remain intact, indicating the importance it will place on the new reorganization. By cutting its B2C team in APAC, it can be assumed that building a brand in the fragmented markets of Asia is a mammoth task that requires massive spending, which Hopper cannot afford at this stage.
Competition is very tough in the region, with local Asian brands such as Trip.com And Voyageoka not only fiercely defending their territory, but aggressively expanding and establishing global brands like Reservation And Agoda have been investing in the region for years. Hopper had hoped his app model would work well in a region accustomed to apps, but ultimately it takes more than a product to get a foothold: it takes a lot of money to acquire traffic, customers, and endurance.
Hopper is clearly under pressure to become profitable, like every other travel brand that has raised a lot of money in recent years. Since its founding in 2007, Hopper has raised $740 million.
In a statement, Hopper said: “This year, we prioritized evolving the company into a full-scale travel platform, powering both the Hopper app and our B2B partner channels.
“In recent months, the growth of our B2B business has accelerated rapidly. At the same time, we are focused on continuing to develop our direct global hotel offering. We needed to make organizational changes to properly support these two critical business objectives. Unfortunately, we have made the difficult decision to eliminate a number of roles as part of this reorganization. We are deeply grateful to the colleagues we had to part ways with for their hard work and dedication.
In a interview with Canada’s Globe and MailCEO Fred Lalonde said Hopper’s reductions – equivalent to 30 per cent of the company’s full-time staff – were part of the Montreal company’s efforts to achieve profitability.
“We were doing a lot of initiatives that weren’t generating revenue, we always did,” Lalonde said. “But the world has changed, money is no longer free. And we need to move to profitability. There’s no magic secret to why we do this, it’s to reduce our burn rate and get to break even as quickly as possible.
Partnerships played an important role in what Hopper called its evolution.
In 2021, credit card company Capital One led Hopper’s $170 million Series F fundraising and a year later invested an additional $96 million in the extension of the partnership. As part of the agreement, Capital One Travel customers use Hopper Cloud for features such as price alerts, price drop protection and the ability to cancel a flight for any reason.
These and other ancillary products have attracted fire Expedia Groupwho announced in July that he was withdraw its hotel and vacation rental offer from Hopper, accusing the rival OTA of taking advantage of consumers. In a statement, the company said Hopper’s features “exploit consumers’ anxiety and confuse them, leading them to purchase services they neither need nor completely understand.” A statement from Hopper at the time said Expedia Group’s move was a sign that it “clearly views Hopper as a significant competitive threat.”
Hopper joined forces this year with Nubank, the Brazilian fintech giant And CommBank of Australia on offers featuring Hopper’s price prediction and protection products. Last month Hopper announced partnerships with Hotelbeds and WebBedsbringing its hotel offering to millions of properties, the company said.
The Phocuswright Conference 2023
Hear from Hopper founder and CEO Fred Lalonde at the November 13-16 event in Fort Lauderdale.