Weeks after the announcement that operations will be discontinued and “new things are coming”, corporate travel management start-up Lola has announced details of the next phase: The company will become part of Capital One.
Credit card giant acquired Lola for an undisclosed amount in a deal that includes the company’s employees and software platform, according to a report by The Boston Globe.
In a statement posted on Lola’s website on Friday, CEO Mike Volpe and CTO Paul English stated that Lola’s team and technology would be used to enhance Capital One’s business-to-business payment offerings.
“Our talent and passion for B2B payments will become part of an existing team at Capital One that is focused on delivering innovative digital solutions to businesses,” reads the press release, which addresses “Fintech Innovation” and “Transform goes[ing] the business payment industry “as goals for the future.
While these comments suggest that Capital One was primarily interested in Lola’s solvency capabilities – which the company launched last year to diversify in the face of the business travel shutdown caused by the Covid-19 pandemic – Lola’s travel deals may also have been appealing to the city Credit card provider.
Such was the case with American Express, which acquired artificial intelligence-based travel assistant technology provider Mezi in 2018 to run its AskAmex travel concierge service for cardholders.
As with this transaction, Capital One is removing a once busy corporate travel provider from the industry with the acquisition of Lola. Founded in 2016 by Kayak co-founder English, Lola caused a sensation two years later and entered into an exclusive partnership with American Express Global Business Travel. The partnership was broken and all Lola users switched to Amex GBT’s Neo1 travel management platform, according to GBT, after Lola ceased operations last month.
The Lola deal marks the second time Capital One has selected a business travel company after acquiring flight disruption management and rebooking technology provider Freebird in 2020 and subsequently retiring Freebird’s standalone product.