Founder of lastminute.com, Mydeco, Made.com and an angel investor. Brent shot to fame as one of the bright young faces of the 'dot-com' boom, when he co-founded lastminute.com. Unlike many of his contemporaries, Brent's venture survived when the bubble burst.
He co-founded lastminute.com in 1998 with Martha Lane Fox and took the company to profit and gross bookings of over $2bn. The company floated in 2000 when the dot-com bubble was at its peak. It acquired 14 businesses after the IPO to supplement the annual growth of the core brand. In 2005 lastminute.com was sold to Sabre for $1.1bn
Mydeco.com is the UK`s leading interior design website. It brings together the widest range of home furnishing products, from over 750 retailers.
Brent is a Governor of University of the Arts College, London and a non-executive director of Guardian Media Group. From 2007 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 and moveme.com
Brent was born in South Africa, educated at Eton and holds a MA in French and German literature from Oxford.
Brent is the business man who founded and ran a range of highly successful online businesses including Lastminute.com, myDeco.com and most recently the online furniture sellers who go direct from the makers in order to give their buyers reduced costs by cutting out the middlemen.
Lastminute.com offers consumers airline tickets, car hire, hotel rooms, package holidays, entertainment tickets, restaurant reservations, home delivery, speciality services, gifts and auctions. Brent's initial vision remains unchanged, 'to delight customers with great value, inspiration and solutions when they are going away, going out or staying in.'
As one of Europe's leading ecommerce companies, Lastminute.com is one of the only start-up 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. The IPO was 40 times oversubscribed and the price increase during the process was a record for a UK company. Lastminute.com acquired 14 businesses after the IPO to supplement the annual growth of the core brand, which was over 100% from 1998 to 2004. Ten years on the company is the number one travel website in Europe and was acquired by Travelocity Europe for $1.1 billion, a division of Sabre Holdings Corporation on 20th July 2005. The most recent estimates for gross bookings in 2005 were over $2.1 billion.
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.
Brent 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. Brent's entrepreneurial vision ensured the lastminute.com customer experience was continually enhanced by the latest innovations in technology.
Brent founded another VC-backed internet start-up, Mydeco, which launched in February 2007. The online interiors site intends to revolutionise the way we shop and design for our homes, encouraging consumers to spend, socialise and play house all at the same time.
In 2010, Brent mydeco and Profounders joined Marc Simoncini, of Meetic fame and John Hunt to found made.com :
‘We feel that discerning customers get a raw deal at the hands of the big high street furniture retailers and the expensive designer brands.'
Brent is a Governor of the University of the Arts College, London and a Non-Executive Board Director of Guardian Media Group. From January 2007 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, Wayn.com and moveme.com.