OMERS invests 12M in online travel startup

BOSTON — The venture capital arm of one of Canada’s largest pension funds is investing in Hopper, a Cambridge, Mass.,-based online travel planning startup.Hopper says the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement Service is leading the latest $12-million investment round that also includes Brightspark Ventures and Atlas Venture.As well, Derek Smyth, managing director of OMERS Ventures, is joining the Hopper board as a director.The latest investment brings Hopper’s total amount raised to $22 million, including previous investments from Brightspark and Atlas.“It’s really important to OMERS Ventures that we are leading a significant round of financing for a company like Hopper that has the strong potential to be a game-changer in its industry,” Smyth said in a statement.“Hopper’s management team is world-class, with the big data expertise required to completely revolutionize the way customers discover and book their online travel. Hopper is exactly the kind of company we look to partner with over the long term as it disrupts an entire industry.”The company hopes to win customers by simplifying travel planning on the Internet, where it says gathering widely scattered information can be both time-consuming and difficult.“Hopper has already crawled more than half a billion pages of travel data, with plans to double that by the end of the year, making it the largest travel database in the world,” the company said.“This funding round will further the company’s goal of using big data to take the frustration out of trip planning and make travel search smarter.”OMERS is one of Canada’s largest pension funds with over $55 billion in net assets, providing pension administration services to 420,000 members, one in every 20 workers in Ontario.

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