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Brent Shawzin Hoberman CBE (born 25 November 1968) is a British entrepreneur. Together with Martha Lane Fox, he founded Lastminute.com in 1998, an online travel and gift business. As CEO, Hoberman successively floated and later sold Lastminute.com Ltd to Sabre who purchased the company's equity and bond debt for £577 million (including additional gross debt of approximately £79 million and estimated cash at bank in hand of approximately £72 million). In 2006, Hoberman handed over the CEO position to Ian McCaig, although he remained as chairman and chief strategic officer until 2007.
Brent Shawzin Hoberman
25 November 1968
|Alma mater||New College, Oxford|
|Known for||Co-founder, Lastminute.com|
Current business activitiesEdit
Hoberman remained CEO of lastminute.com throughout 2005, until April 2006 when he handed over the CEO position to Ian McCaig and took the position of chairman and chief strategy officer. He stepped down as chief strategy officer and chairman in January 2007.
Hoberman founded VC-backed internet startup, mydeco.com, an online furniture and interior design site providing 3D technology for consumers to design their own rooms online in 2007 and the website launched in February 2008.
In 2007, Hoberman took on the role of non-executive chairman of wayn.com – a travel and leisure social network. In December 2009, he stepped down from the board of wayn.com.
In July 2009, Hoberman co-founded PROfounders Capital with Michael Birch, Peter Dubens, Jonnie Goodwin, Rogan Angelini-Hurll and Sean Seton-Rogers. The fund invests in early stage internet investors.
Hoberman is the co-founder and was founding chairman of Made.com, an online furniture retailer subject to the joint venture between mydeco.com and founder Ning Li. On 29 December 2015 it was reported that Hoberman was leaving PROFounders Capital.
Hoberman is also a co-founder of Founders Forum, which is a private network for digital and technology entrepreneurs. Founders Forum has been hosting invite-only events in London since 2006 and has since 2011 expanded to events in other countries such as the US, Brazil, India, Turkey and China. Speakers at the events have included prominent figures from the technology sector like Eric Schmidt, Reid Hoffman and Arianna Huffington. The events are by invitation only.
In 2013, Hoberman launched Founders Intelligence, a specialist digital consultancy that advises corporates and investors on digital innovation and strategy and Founders Forum for Good, the precursor to Founders Pledge, the charitable arm of Founders Forum through which founders can commit a percentage of their future exit proceeds to social causes.
In 2015, Hoberman launched corporate-backed tech startup accelerator and studio with Henry Lane Fox in London. Corporate investors in Founders Factory include The Guardian, L’Oreal, easyJet, CSC Group, Holtzbrinck Macmillan and Aviva, and Marks & Spencer. In 2018 Founders Factory launched in Africa
In 2015, Hoberman also launched Grip, an event networking solution.
In 2016, Hoberman launched Founders of the Future which provides programmes, events and tools for aspiring entrepreneurs and accelerateHER which is a network to support women working in technology.
In 2017, Hoberman was appointed the Chair of the advisory board for the Oxford Foundry.
In 2018, Hoberman launched firstminute capital, a $100m pan-European seed fund with Atomico as its cornerstone investor.
Hoberman was a non-executive director of TalkTalk, Shazam Entertainment, The Guardian News & Media and The Economist. Hoberman currently sits on the advisory board for LetterOne Technology and the UK Government Digital Advisory Board.
He is also an angel investor in several internet companies, including Viagogo, erepublik, Alan.eu, 1aim, Aire Labs, Busuu, CognitionX, Conduit Club, Creativelive, Easycar, James Perse, Kenshoo, Lucky Voice, Maven, Mykindacrowd, Onfido, DataTiger, Osper, Owkin, Previse, Rankabove, Recurrence, Sideways6, Snips, Tamoco, Loveholidays, Truecaller, Wahanda, wayn.com and academia.edu.
Early life and educationEdit
Inspiration and motivationEdit
Hoberman says his mentors have been his father and South African grandfather Leonard Shawzin, who built an empire of over 650 clothes shops from a single store. He credits his entrepreneurial drive to the business successes of his father and grandfather, and says the catalyst for him starting his own business was being fired from his first job in investment banking for being "a prima donna".
Hoberman has stated that he believes what makes a business successful is passion; in an interview with BBC 'The Bottom Line', he states his belief that the most successful small businesses are those where the founders remain passionate about their business, and are themselves part of their target market. He believes that by building a business to offer a solution to a problem you have yourself – as he did with lastminute.com and mydeco.com – founders stand a greater chance of remaining passionate and being successful.
Public and political activitiesEdit
In 2009, Hoberman was selected as one of the World Economic Forum's Global Young Leaders for the UK and in July 2009, Hoberman joined The Business Sectors Council for Britain under Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
In 2016, Hoberman was appointed the Chair of The Royal Foundation Taskforce on the Prevention of Cyberbullying for The Duke of Cambridge.
Hoberman is Jewish.
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