About Us

Hugo Burge, David Soskin and Sascha Hausmann are rather passionate about the internet. Having successfully grown our own businesses, we have raised this fund to invest in high-potential companies in the digital sector.

HOWZAT Partners doesn’t have oodles of money so we have been very selective about our investments. We try to invest in outstanding, early-stage companies with demonstrable evidence of real traction, where we believe we can add value and bring skills which complement those of the talented teams which we actively support.

Origins of the name:

"Howzat" is the cricketing equivalent of 'Eureka'. To call "Howzat" is one of the most exhilarating moments in sport; you have bowled your ball, you have given it your best, you believe you have beaten the batsman …you shout "Howwwzat" and await judgment from the Umpire. Kind of symbolic; right? Well, anyhow, we think it is a relevant, fun and distinctly British name and that’s how we came to choose it.

The "Howzat" Factor:

We are looking to invest in and build internet businesses that have a "Howzat" factor. This may sound a little trite; but we see major changes caused by the internet and the opportunities are genuinely exciting. The right idea; the right business; the right time; should generate the "Howzat" feeling. We felt it when Hugo and David came across Cheapflights and were involved in purchasing the Company in 2000. We are seeking the same feeling again in the investments we make.

Testimonials

"David and Hugo are terrific people, and Academia.edu has been fortunate to have them as investors. They have been supportive from the start in a number of ways: introducing us to people in their network; being a source of ideas about the direction of the product and the company; and helping us with fund-raising. I'd highly recommend other entrepreneurs to work with David and Hugo if they can."

Richard Price - Founder and CEO Academia.edu

"Howzat backed Trivago at a crucial time when capital was scarce. Their advice was always on the spot. They have cutting edge insights into online travel and were crucial to the company’s success."

Malte Siewert - Co-Founder and Managing Director Trivago

HOWZAT Partners was fundamental to the success of TrustedPlaces. Hugo and David believed in us at a very early stage and helped the company tremendously throughout its life- not only at board level and strategy, but in real operations too. I would wholeheartedly recommend HOWZAT Partners to any entrepreneur and would work again with the guys in a heartbeat."

Sokratis Papafloratos - Co-Founder and CEO Trusted Places

"Howzat offered extremely valuable support and monitoring as we built CheapToday. The Howzat's team's experience in online marketing, product development and business modeling was critical throughout every stage of the company."

Milenko Beslic - Co-Founder and CEO CheapToday

"Howzat's support and industry related expertise has been of huge value to WAYN since investing. Backed by entrepreneurs who have been there and can pass on their learnings; their collective insights and honest counsel has helped me and the management team navigate through some challenging waters and survive to tell the tale. I thoroughly recommend them."

Peter Ward - Co-Founder and CEO WAYN

Portfolio

Here is our list of investments that we hope will make the big-time (with the help of some cash and hard work):

Academia.edu is the leading social network for academics worldwide. Academia helps academics follow the latest research in their field with over 4 million academics signed up and growing fast. It is based in San Francisco.

AlexandAlexa.com is the UK’s leading online retailer for luxury children’s-wear, selling premium brands such as Ralph Lauren, Burberry, Little Marc Jacobs and Junior Gaultier. Serving a global marketplace, it is based in London.

WAYN is a lifestyle and travel social network with over 22 million members. Meet, share and plan your travels with other like minded people. London-based but with members all over the world.

Investor Allstars

Trivago: Winner, Exit of the Year

This award was open to all European investors who achieved an exit for shares or cash between 1 May 2012 – 30 April 2013. Investor Allstars


Trivago is Europe’s leading hotel price comparison website with 20 international websites including Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Poland, UK and Sweden. It is based in Dusseldorf, Germany.

Sold to Expedia

CheapToday.com is obsessed by what is CheapToday @ your favourite store. The Power Shopper community hunts for the very best deals on women’s purchases such as shoes, handbags and clothing at big brand stores that you know and love. Boston-based and currently focused on the USA marketplace.

Sold to private investor

TrustedPlaces.com - share personal recommendations for restaurants, cafes, pubs and attractions.

Sold to Yell

Zoomf.com – a property search engine

Sold to Trinity Mirror

Swapit is the leading UK online swapping & trading community for young people. Swapit has merged with SuperAwesome. Howzat remains a shareholder in the merged entity.

London-based GiveTruly.com is a specialist provider of luxury experiences. It works with many of the world's leading luxury brands including the Four Seasons, Alfred Dunhill and L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon to provide unique and special gifts.

Togethera offers a platform for sharing photos, thoughts and memories with family more often - privately and simply.

AppearHere.co.uk is the UK's leading marketplace to find, book and list short term retail space.

Berlin-based Coffee Circle is fast creating the leading brand for speciality coffee in Europe.

Dusseldorf-based Just Spices is disrupting the way spices are purchased. It offers consumers and businesses over 100 spices.

New York based Audicus introduces a new hearing aid concept. The company e-tails cutting-edge hearing aids online at deeply discounted prices, making it more affordable for those with hearing difficulties to buy through a direct, online delivery model.

Mozio aggregates shuttles, taxis, limousines, express trains and more to allow large travel brands to sell ground transportation. Mozio’s long term vision is to build a backbone infrastructure system for the ground transportation industry. Mozio is based in San Francisco.

Ampido is an online marketplace for parking spaces. It is headquartered in Cologne.

Fantasy5live.com is a real time pick 5 Fantasy sports site aimed at Fantasy Rugby, Fantasy Soccer, Fantasy Football and Fantasy GAA lovers. It offers players the chance to play an exciting and strategic game in a fun-filled competitive environment. Fantasy5 is based in Kilkenny, Ireland.

London-based Hubbub is an online delivery marketplace for independent shops, market stalls and artisan producers.

The Team

  • Hugo Burge

    Partner and co-Founder

    Hugo Burge became Chief Executive Officer of Cheapflights Media, now Momondo Group, in May 2011.

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  • David Soskin

    Partner and co-Founder

    David Soskin is on the boards of Aldermore Bank PLC, mySupermarket.com and...

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  • Sascha Hausmann

    Partner

    Sascha is a Senior Partner in StellantPartners. He has been a member of the fund and has helped with running it since...

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  • Jo Allen

     

    Jo is a Senior Partner in StellantPartners. She has been a member of the fund and has helped with running it since 2006...

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  • Lars Hahn

     

    Lars is a Senior Partner in StellantPartners. He has been a member of the fund and has helped with running it since 2006...

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Hugo Burge - Partner and co-Founder

Hugo Burge became Chief Executive Officer of Cheapflights Media, now Momondo Group, in May 2011.

Hugo was part of the investor group that bought the Cheapflights UK business from John Hatt, the Founder, in March 2000. He has since helped grow the company from a three-person attic operation in London into an international leader in travel search with a dedicated presence in more than 20 countries and markets – and more than 15 million users a month.

Hugo has held a variety of roles at the Group, including leading the 2003 launch of Cheapflights US which has become the company’s largest business. In March 2011 he also led the acquisition of the much-praised Danish meta-search site network, momondo.

Prior to joining Cheapflights, Hugo was an entrepreneur with a background in property investment. In 2006, together with David Soskin, Hugo founded the internet investment fund HOWZAT Media. In 2008, Hugo won Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in the Travel Industry Hall of Fame.

Hugo holds a Degree in geography from Cambridge University and loves travel.

David Soskin - Partner and co-Founder

David Soskin is on the boards of Aldermore Bank PLC, mySupermarket.com and Cortexica Vision Systems where he is Chairman. He is a non-executive director of the momondo group (formerly Cheapflights Media) which he joined in March 2000 as Chief Executive Officer upon the management buy-in.

He served as Chief Executive Officer of Cheapflights until April 2008. Under his leadership, Cheapflights grew from an attic-based operation into an international leader in online travel search reaching 8.4 million users in January 2008. During this period, Cheapflights won many industry awards and was included in the Sunday Times Microsoft Tech Track of the UK's 100 fastest growing privately-owned technology companies for five years in a row. David was a Finalist for the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2006.

Previously, David was Head of Global Media at ABN AMRO Corporate Finance.

David's entrepreneurial experience was gained at the Asquith Court Schools Group which he founded in 1989 and on whose board he sat until 2001, when the Company was successfully sold to West Private Equity. Asquith is today the UK's leading provider of premium childcare and education for the under-5s (www.asquithnurseries.com). In 1995, David's entrepreneurial achievements were honoured by the European Foundation for Entrepreneurial Research when he was named as one of Europe's 500 most dynamic entrepreneurs.

David also has worked in senior capacities both in industry (Redland Plc where he was Group Director of Corporate Planning) and government (Special Advisor to the Prime Minister, Number 10 Policy Unit).

David graduated from the University of Oxford (First Class Honours in Modern History), where he was President of the Oxford Union, and from the Harvard Business School (MBA) where he was a Harkness Fellow.

David's book on the business of the internet "Net Profit: How to succeed in Digital Business" (published by John Wiley & Sons) is a best-seller. (www.netprofitbook.com)

Sascha Hausmann - Partner

Sascha is a Senior Partner in StellantPartners. He has been a member of the fund and has helped with running it since 2006. He became a Partner in 2013.

He was originally trained in tax consulting & accounting focussing on audits, consulting on corporate tax, company structure, reporting and the implementation of finance systems. After 6 years in the profession he was enticed away into the travel industry by a former client. Once having smelled travel, there was no going back to accounting and Sascha has since become a specialist in online travel and distribution systems.

Prior to founding Stellant Partners, Sascha was CEO of WorldRes, having been appointed by the Board to take the company through a complicated and difficult sales process. Previously, he ran the finance, support and HR functions at WorldRes and was instrumental in establishing European offices in key European countries.

Between 2007 and 2012 Sascha took on the roll of CEO of eRevMax (operating under the RateTiger brand) to establish a global presence, build a sales and marketing team from scratch and generate a medium to long term business strategy for the business. In early 2012, he passed on his responsibilities to the COO (now CEO) that he had recruited for that purpose.

Sascha is a well-recognised figure in the online travel industry, speaking at many events and being a trusted advisor to various companies in the online marketplace.

In his spare time, Sascha is a passionate pilot for helicopters and airplanes (both remote as well as in real life), has a boat license and enjoys swimming. If you don’t think that is scary enough, he is also the mechanic for his own (real) helicopter.

Jo Allen

Jo is a Senior Partner in StellantPartners. She has been a member of the fund and has helped with running it since 2006.

Jo has specialised in the hospitality and travel industries for the last 9 years and in the M&A arena for 12 years. Prior to setting up Stellant Partners, an advisory firm providing M&A and strategic advice to companies in the internet and travel sectors, Jo was retained by WorldRes as an adviser to sell PlacesToStay.com (the B2C hotel platform) and then to sell the whole company, WorldRes.

Jo was previously employed by InterContinental Hotels Group plc, where she was a key member of the Global Mergers and Acquisitions team. Jo gained significant corporate finance experience whilst at Schroders (now Citigroup) in European M&A and at Coopers & Lybrand (now PwC) in Corporate Finance Deal Advisory. Jo is a Chartered Accountant and has a BSc in Economics and Accounting from Bristol University.

Lars Hahn

Lars is a Senior Partner in StellantPartners. He has been a member of the fund and has helped with running it since 2006.

Lars has a specialization in online distribution systems in Europe and the US. Prior to joining Stellant Partners, Lars was the WorldRes (and subsequently WebRes) Financial Controller, taking responsibility for the financial operations of WorldRes, as well as managing the contractual and support relationships with online partners and hotels.

Having worked with a mid-sized consulting company, Lars has extensive experience in financial and management accounting for both European and US corporations. Developing and maintaining relationships with senior management, auditors and shareholders was another of his key responsibilities.

eRevMax approached Stellant in 2007 to provide financial management services. Lars has been the de facto CFO of the business, implementing new rigorous financial and management procedures, dealing with hedging and leverage and enhancing the financial team. He passed these responsibilities over to an internal CFO in early 2012.

In his spare time, Lars is a passionate soccer player , likes gardening and of course barbeques. Over the weekends he acts as Jack Sparrow of the Rhine River.

Contact

To get in touch with HOWZAT Partners please use the form below, which we will endeavour to respond to as soon as possible.

Or if you prefer our office address is:HOWZAT Partners, 3rd Floor(℅ Momondo Group), One Alfred Place, London, WC1E 7EB

We do get many businesses approaching Howzat, but we will try our best to get back to you within 5 to 10 working days.

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