18 October 2021 - Virtual
10 November 2021, Virtual
London, UK - November 2021
Weeks after announcing it was ceasing operations and touting
"new things to come", corporate travel management start-up Lola has
revealed details of that next phase: the company will become part of Capital
The credit card giant has acquired Lola for an undisclosed
sum in a deal that includes the company's workforce and software platform,
according to a report by The Boston Globe.
In a notice posted on Lola's website Friday, company CEO
Mike Volpe and CTO Paul English indicated Lola's team and technology would be
applied towards enhancing Capital One's business-to-business payments
"Our talent and passion for B2B payments will join an
existing team at Capital One focused on delivering innovative digital solutions
to businesses," the notice read, going on to cite "fintech
innovation" and "transform[ing] the business payments industry"
as goals moving forward.
While those comments hint that Capital One was interested
mainly in Lola's payments capabilities – which the company rolled out last year
in a bid to diversify amid the shutdown of corporate travel caused by the
Covid-19 pandemic – Lola’s travel offerings also may have been attractive for
the credit card provider.
Such was the case for American Express, which in 2018
acquired artificial intelligence-based travel assistant technology provider
Mezi to power its AskAmex travel concierge service for cardholders.
Like that deal, Capital One's acquisition of Lola removes a
once-buzzworthy corporate travel provider from the sector. Launched in 2016 by
Kayak co-founder English, Lola made a splash two years later, inking an exclusive
partnership with American Express Global Business Travel. The partnership was
dissolved and all Lola users were transitioned to Amex GBT's Neo1 travel management
platform after Lola shuttered operations last month, according to GBT.
The Lola deal marks the second time Capital One has plucked
a company from the corporate travel sector, following its 2020 acquisition of
flight disruption management and rebooking technology provider Freebird and
subsequent shutdown of Freebird's standalone product.