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Still-unproven Lola, the travel startup, has some online travel heavy hitters as co-founders, investors and board members. If the premise to involve human travel agents in trip-planning doesn't work out then the team can always pivot toward something else.

Lola, the mobile travel agency startup co-founded by two Kayak veterans, picked up an additional $8 million in venture funding from existing investors General Catalyst and Accel Partners.

The Series A round brings the company’s total funding to around $20 million, including $12 million that was transitioned from Paul English’s Blade Travel, a previous mentoring program for consumer-tech startups in Boston.

Joining Lola co-founders Paul English and Bill O’Donnell, as well asĀ Gail Goodman and Youngme Moon on the board, are former Orbitz Worldwide CEO Barney Harford, as well as Joel Cutler of General Catalyst and Harry Nelis of Accel.

Harford, who is also involved in the United Airlines proxy fight, has been named the chairman of Lola Travel.

English, O’Donnell, Harford, Cutler and Nelis were all previously involved in online travel companies that sought to maximize digital search and bookings and minimize personal intervention from company employees in the process.

But, in a change of focus, Lola CEO English hopes to hire 100 traditional travel agents who would interact with travelers during their trip planning on a Lola mobile app, which is expected to be available by invitation-only in the Apple App store in May.

Lola currently employs 43 people full-time.

A spokesperson says the focus of the new funding is on product development.

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Tags: lola, mobile, travel agents

Photo credit: Former Orbitz Worldwide CEO Barney Harford has been named board chairman of Lola. Harford is pictured at the World Travel & Tourism Council Global Summit April 16, 2015. World Travel & Tourism Council / Flickr

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