Capital One has agreed to buy Velocity Black, a digital concierge service, to bolster its offerings for consumer experience, the bank announced last week.
The move gives Capital One access to a proprietary platform — focused on travel, entertainment, shopping and dining — that uses artificial intelligence and human expertise to offer recommendations to its customers.
“Capital One and Velocity Black are committed to innovating on behalf of the customer, and both have raised the bar in their sectors,” Matt Knise, Capital One’s senior vice president of premium products and experiences, said in a statement. “Velocity Black’s deep service expertise and unique tech platform complement Capital One’s focus on building experiences that meet the evolving needs of our customer.”
Some of those experiences include microchipping blue whales off Sri Lanka and dining within an Egyptian pyramid, according to Velocity Black’s site.
“Our culture of innovation to delight customers has been key to our rapid growth. We are excited to join forces with Capital One, who shares this passion,” Zia Yusuf, Velocity Black’s CEO, said in a statement.
Though the terms of the deal were not disclosed, Velocity Black’s website said it is backed by $28 million in venture capital.
Bank-owned travel portals have surged to help clients use the miles and points for booking travel on credit cards directly, bypassing online travel agencies and saving money needed for external platforms, according to a PYMNTS report from March.
The Velocity Black transaction piggybacks off other moves Capital One has made to address client needs. The bank launched Capital One Landing in October. The service offers a revamped airport lounge experience.
Capital One also acquired Wikibuy to power its shopping tool — matching premium retailers with shoppers to help engage and drive financial benefits. The bank also collaborated with SevenRooms to develop Capital One Dining, which offers access to hard-to-get reservations, the company noted.
Capital One isn’t the first bank to expand its presence in the restaurant or travel and expense management business. In September 2021, JPMorgan Chase agreed to buy the restaurant platform The Infatuation, which owns the Zagat guidebook and review brand. Two months later, U.S. Bank announced plans to buy San Francisco-based fintech TravelBank in a bid to expand its customer base and deliver more value to them, the company said at the time.
In his statement, Yusuf said Capital One’s “entrepreneurial spirit and customer-first, tech-led culture align beautifully” with Velocity Black’s.
“Its decades of experience disrupting the status quo will be invaluable in further scaling the Velocity Black business,” Yusuf said.