Lastminute.com cofounder Brent Hoberman is one of the best connected and most well-known investors and entrepreneurs in the UK.
He runs Founders Factory, among other ventures, a corporate-backed incubator and accelerator that aims to create 200 British startups.
Hoberman said strong entrepreneurs needed to be obsessive about their company, a convincing leader, and “a little bit dysfunctional.”
He spoke to Business Insider after being named in the UK Tech 100, a ranking of the 100 coolest people in the UK tech industry.
Every investor has a story about the megadeal that they missed. But Brent Hoberman has a doozy.
Around 2010, Hoberman was introduced to a young founder who was thinking of expanding his startup from the US into Europe. As Hoberman recalls it, Goldman Sachs’ investment banking boss, Gregg Lemkau, engineered the meeting.
The young entrepreneur was just looking for advice and not funding. After all, Hoberman was one of the best-connected entrepreneurs in Europe, and this was before the likes of Skype or Skyscanner had sold. Who better to advise an American on building a business on the continent?
“So I gave him advice,” Hoberman said, but he felt like something was missing. “I just emailed the Goldman’s guy back saying: ‘Next time someone like that comes along, can you ask me not to give advice but to give them money?'”
The young founder was Travis Kalanick, and the startup was Uber. The cab-hailing company would have been worth about $60 million at the time. It’s now thought to be worth $72 billion. Hoberman manages a chuckle as he tells the story.
Brent Hoberman wants to create 200 British startups through his Founders Factory accelerator
A self-assured and well-dressed old Etonian, Brent Hoberman made his name and is still frequently referred to as the cofounder of Lastminute.com alongside Martha Lane Fox. As CEO he floated the company in 2000, then sold the business to Sabre Holdings.
These days, he is equally known for his network. He is in and out of 10 Downing Street, chairs Prince William’s cyberbullying task force and, in the decade or so since Lastminute.com, has built up an empire of other ventures.
Hoberman’s current projects include his accelerator and incubator Founders Factory, a fund called Firstminute Capital, and the Founders Forum network for top-tier entrepreneurs. He also cofounded furniture site Made.com.
He turns 50 this year, but in person is energetic and schoolboyish, prone to bursts of laughter and the occasional jibe. At one point, …read more
Source:: Business Insider