Hopper Acquires PlacePass to Lead Its Travel Experiences Offering

The Boston-based company, which powers Marriott International’s Marriott Bonvoy Tours and Activities platform, will join Hopper to build out a new division focused on traveler experiences

Brianna Schneider - Oct. 19, 2021
Hopper

Today, Hopper announced that it acquired PlacePass, a leading provider of B2B tour and activity booking solutions. PlacePass is one of the world’s largest activity aggregators, featuring more than 300,000 experiences in over 800 global destinations. Developing proprietary technology that enables top hotels, airlines, and vacation rental companies to monetize demand for in-destination experiences, the PlacePass team and its inventory will join Hopper to spearhead its experiences offering.

This acquisition marks Hopper’s first entry into the experience business. In addition to bringing a wide variety of experiences to Hopper users, PlacePass will make its vast offering available to travel brands via Hopper Cloud. Through Hopper’s B2B initiative, Hopper Cloud, any travel provider – airlines, hotels, online travel agencies, meta-search companies, travel agencies, etc. – can integrate and seamlessly distribute Hopper’s fintech or travel agency content which will now include tours and activities. Additionally, Hopper Cloud offers white-label travel portals for companies that aspire to sell travel with a differentiated consumer experience and offering. 

As part of the acquisition, Hopper will also now power Marriott Bonvoy's Tours and Activities platform via Hopper Cloud. Marriott travelers will continue to be able to choose from thousands of authentic local experiences in 800 destinations worldwide and members of Marriott Bonvoy, Marriott International’s travel program, earn points when they book Tours and Activities on https://activities.marriott.com/

“Bringing on an exceptional team like PlacePass and a strong leader like Ethan [Hawkes, PlacePass Founder/CEO], will enable us to kickstart a world-class tours and activities offering – for our app and for our Hopper Cloud customers,” said Frederic Lalonde, CEO and Co-Founder of Hopper. “We are currently in a supercycle of travel, with high consumer demand for novel tours and activities. It’s a natural extension for Hopper to look holistically at the trip our customers are taking and offer the best experiences to enrich the travel journey."

"We're thrilled to join such a dynamic and innovative team and accelerate Hopper's entry into the tours and activities space," said Ethan Hawkes, CEO and Co-Founder of PlacePass. "We've been very impressed by the way that Hopper has been able to grow and scale during the pandemic. It's a testament to their ability to adapt and listen to the needs of the customer. We know that Hopper's customer-focused, data-driven approach to travel will take what we've built at PlacePass to new levels."

Hopper has raised $350M this year and increased its valuation by 500%. The company has been utilizing the capital to acquire companies, such as PlacePass, to develop new product lines and fuel its international expansion efforts. Most recently, Hopper integrated the team from Pilota to develop a new fintech vertical for the company. As Hopper continues to grow rapidly, the company is actively seeking to acquire other travel, data science, or engineering-heavy startups.

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