Capital One Buys Travel FinTech Lola

Capital One

Capital One has acquired the staff and software of Boston travel tech startup Lola in an effort to boost its FinTech footprint in the Boston area.

As the Boston Globe reported Friday (Oct. 8), the deal will see Lola Co-founder Paul English and Chief Executive Mike Volpe join Capital One and help shepherd the bank’s tech operations out of its new office in Kendall Square.

“They want Boston to be another large hub,” Volpe said. “We’re going to be doing a lot of hiring here, a lot of growing.”

According to the Globe, Volpe will help oversee the development of Capital One’s B2B payment offerings, with English acting as “entrepreneur in residence,” advising on technical innovation.

“It’s an innovative, ‘tech forward’ culture, especially for a large bank,” English said. “I’m excited about developing more expertise in fintech, and bringing more fintech jobs to Boston.”

Lola has closed its office and its corporate contracts, refunding clients who were owed money. The company struggled during the COVID pandemic, which forced it to shed employees and pivot to offer expense management tools in addition to travel.

The remaining members of Lola’s 57-person team will now become Capital One employees. (Volpe said an additional eight people were not offered work at Capital One or declined a job.) These workers will help the bank create payment-related products and services for business customers, joining about 250 Capital One workers already based in Kendall Square.

According to the Globe, the deal with Capital One stemmed from discussions Lola’s founders had with potential investors and financial companies to raise more money. Lola board member Susan Sobbott, a one-time American Express executive, connected Volpe and English to the leadership of Capital One.

Read more: Lola On Moving Beyond A Consumer-Like Experience In Corporate Travel

Volpe spoke to PYMNTS in 2019 about the changing landscape of how businesses deal with travel and expense strategies.

“I believe the world is moving to a place where the whole process of reimbursing the employee goes away,” he said. “I think that will come about because with these tools, companies have more say in what’s being purchased in the first place.”