Co-founder of lastminute.com and PROfounders Capital, Brent Hoberman is experienced in founding and investing in early stage companies. A keynote speaker on retail and entrepreneurship, Brent explains that what makes a business successful is passion and that the strongest small businesses are those where the founders are themselves part of their target market.
Brent Hoberman is an interesting, insightful and rich keynote speaker in the areas of Customer Service & CRM, Retailing, IT & Online Business.
Brent co-founded lastminute.com in 1998, with Martha Lane Fox, in the living room of his London flat three years after having drafted the initial idea. Brent was 29 and Martha was just 25, they grew the idea of value last minute services into a leading ecommerce company.
lastminute.com is one of the only startup brands in Europe to regularly feature in the top 10 ecommerce sites in many European geographies. The company floated in March 2000 when the dotcom bubble was at its peak. Due to market conditions and success of the company the price increase during the process was a record for a UK company.
Since it has acquired numerous businesses, has a billion-pound turnover and is consistently one of the highest ranking travel websites in Europe.
Brent’s leading industry role was recognised by several organisations – these include: Time Magazines Top 25 European digital leaders, Revolution’s Internet Person of the Year and the Institute of Travel Tourism (ITT) Travel Business Person of the Year.
He remained CEO of lastminute.com until April 2006 when he took the position of Chairman and Chief Strategy Officer. Brent’s entrepreneurial vision ensured the lastminute.com customer experience was continually enhanced by the latest innovations in technology.
In February 2007 Brent founded internet startup, mydeco, an online furniture site that set out to revolutionise the way we shop and design for our homes, encouraging consumers to spend, socialise create a vision for their dream home. Brent co-founded MADE.com was a ‘spin-off’ idea that disrupts the furniture industry by giving customers beautiful furniture and accessories direct from the makers.
He is also Chair of Founders Forum a brainstorming forum, a brainstorming event for the world’s active, top digital entrepreneurs. Since this has developed a headhunting firm for digital talent – Founders Keepers.
Brent also co-founded PROfoundersCapital, an early stage internet Venture Capital companies backed by several top entrepreneurs.
Brent is a Governor of the University of the Arts College, London and a Non-Executive Director of The Economist. From January 2007 - December 2009 he took on the role of Non-Executive Chairman of wayn.com – a travel and leisure social network with over 10 million members. He is also an angel investor in several internet companies including Viagogo, erepublik, Wayn.com and academia.edu.
In 2009, Brent was selected as one of the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders for the UK. That same year he joined The Business Council for Britain, Brent is also an adviser to Travelintelligence.co.uk, Kenshoo, eRepublik, Campbell Lace Beta, and Mobimate. He also cohosts the European Founders Forum – a selection of European digital leaders.
Brent educated at the University of Oxford, and was appointed CBE in the 2015 New Year Honours for services to entrepreneurship.
A highly experienced and active entrepreneur, Brent continually searches for and invests in creative start-ups he perceives to be successful. Passionate and driven, Brent can share his business knowledge on the corporate circuit.