37 Million More Reasons Lola.com Will Transform Corporate Travel
$37M in new funding will help us build an even better product and double headcount, but this was not a typical financing round — here’s what happened
When I joined Lola.com as CEO in August, I was impressed by where the company stood. We already had a killer product that customers loved; a great team; and enough money in the bank to keep us growing for quite a while.
With cash in the bank, I knew I had a luxury many new CEOs don’t and I could skip the standard first step of hitting the VC circuit and instead focus on the even more important tasks of building out our go-to-market process and adding top-shelf talent to our team.
I didn’t shed a single tear about skipping the traditional fundraising song and dance. We didn’t need to sell the dream to investors, we needed to build it and sell it to customers.
Right now, you’re probably a little confused. If you clicked this article, you know that Lola.com has just closed a new investment round for $37 million. And here I am talking about how we prioritized everything else over raising new capital. So what gives?
Well here’s the story.
Once we started focusing on the priorities I mentioned above — hiring some of the best Sales & Marketing leaders in Boston, forming a commercial partnership with one of the biggest players in corporate travel management, and using customer feedback to create the highest-rated corporate travel management platform on the market — a funny thing started to happen: Our existing investors started reaching out to offer more money.
I’ll be honest, at first I was inclined to say “thanks but no thanks.” For all the reasons listed above, we figured that our strategy to build a great product and team was more important than rushing to score $37m in funding. We had a lot of customers to acquire and plenty of ways to make our product even better and even more powerful.
But, given the faith our investors showed in us and the size of the opportunity in front of us, we realized the investment could help us get where we’re going even faster.
So what will we use the money for?
When you raise a round, people immediately ask you how you’ll spend it. But given our unique situation (with plenty of runway ahead of us, pardon the pun), we’re sticking to our plan without any major changes for now. We’re still doubling our headcount (hiring in engineering and sales and more) this year as previously planned.
Otherwise, we’ll continue to do everything that got us here in the first place: build a world-class team, delight our customers, and build a product that will change the way people travel for business.