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Brent was among the first to seize the potential of doing business online, steering lastminute.com from the drawing board into a multiple market operator matching subscribers to suppliers. When the dotcom bubble burst he learned the value of outsourcing as well as smaller, smarter teams. He’s since established Founders Forum, a global talking shop and platform for digital entrepreneurs. Brent explains why now is a perfect time to move from bricks to clicks.
Brent Hoberman shot to fame as one of the stars of the UK ‘dot-com’ boom, when he co-founded lastminute.com. Unlike many of his contemporaries, Brent’s venture survived when the bubble burst and has gone from strength to strength. He’s since been involved in more online businesses, including the hugely successful furniture retailer made.com, and has become a leading figure in the UK tech economy.
Designed to offer cheaper, short-notice holidays, Brent and his co-founder Martha Lane Fox built lastminute.com into a pioneering online success. Operating across multiple markets, lastminute.com established over 13,600 supplier relationships and over 10 million subscribers. It also owned other brands such as holidayautos.com and travelprice.com and by the time the business was sold to Sabre, the company was valued at over $1billion.
Before lastminute.com, Brent was a Senior Associate at Spectrum Strategy, a media and telecoms consultancy. He then held business development responsibilities at Line One, British Telecom and United News & Media, and was also one of the founding team of the online auction site, QXL.com.
A prolific entrepreneur, Brent went on to establish another VC-backed site, mydeco.com, providing interior design advice and furniture retail. That in turn led to him co-founding and chairing made.com, the home furnishings business that has disrupted how the sector orders, sells and manufacturers.
Brent is the co-founder of the influential FoundersForum, a network of tech entrepreneurs operating all over the world, and of firstminute capital, a European seed fund. As an angel investor, he has backed a number of startups including moveme.com (house moving) and viagogo (tickets). He has served on or advised the boards of The Economist, the UK Government Digital Advisory Board, TalkTalk and the Guardian Media Group.
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