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Boston startup Lola.com lays off 34 as coronavirus brings travel business to a halt

Lola.com cofounder Paul English previously cofounded Kayak.com.
Lola.com cofounder Paul English previously cofounded Kayak.com.

Lola.com, a Boston startup focused on business travel, confirmed Friday that it had laid off nearly a third of its staff amid a massive reduction in global travel brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

The company said it had eliminated 34 jobs, leaving it with 82 full-time employees.

“We made the very hard decision to cut costs so we have a long runway to outlast this crisis given that business travel is so directly impacted,” chief executive Mike Volpe said in an email.

He said the company had experienced a sharp decrease in the number of new companies signing up to use Lola, which is designed as a user-friendly platform to supervise travel planning and manage the cost of business trips.

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“Given the economic outlook, we do not expect that to change quickly. This forces us to completely focus on taking great care of our current customers and continuing our product innovation and enhancements,” Volpe said.

Founded by Kayak cofounder and former chief technology officer Paul English, Lola is part of a cluster of Boston-area travel technology companies ― which also include Tripadvisor and Hopper ― that will have to contend with the disruption to the travel industry.

The news site BostInno reported that the layoffs at Lola included employees working in engineering, accounts, human resources, sales, and marketing.

“This was the hardest thing I have had to do — my heart pains over it, but my brain knows we had no choice,” Volpe said.


Andy Rosen can be reached at andrew.rosen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @andyrosen.