About Us

The partners of HOWZAT are rather passionate about the internet. Having successfully grown their own businesses, we have successfully raised three funds 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.

In 2020 the ennea team, led by Jan Valentin, joined David and Sascha to manage HOWZAT's new fund.

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. David felt it when he came across Cheapflights and was involved in acquiring the Company in 2000. We are seeking the same feeling again in the investments we make.

Testimonials

"H​OWZAT were great partners for Loyalty Bay from the initial founding of the idea to the eventual sale of the company. What impressed me most about Sascha, David and Hugo was the fact that they were all founders themselves. They could relate to ​- ​and provide valuable advice and feedback ​- the inevitable ups and downs of being an entrepreneur and running a company. I would happily work with them again."

William Roberts - ​Founder​ Loyalty Bay

"You are all awesome! You'll always be key in our story as you were the first believers in Spotahome ever. We wouldn't be here if it wasn't ​for ​you. And not only that but all the advice and support we have been receiving since day one has been incredible. The team and myself will always be super grateful to all of you! It is a privilege to have you on our side."

Alejandro Artacho - Co-founder and CEO Spotahome.com

"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

The Team

  • David Soskin

    Partner and co-Founder

    David Soskin co-founded HOWZAT in 2006. He is the former CEO of Cheapflights (renamed Momondo)...

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  • Sascha Hausmann

    Partner

    Sascha is a partner of the fund. Sascha started his career in tax consulting accounting focused on audits, consulting...

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  • Thomas Koch

    Partner

    Thomas is Founding Partner at Andersen Tax & Legal Germany. He has more than 10 years of experience in VC and M&A...

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  • Jan-Frederik Valentin

    Partner

    Jan is an experienced entrepreneur, investor and M&A advisor. He is known for his expertise in Strategy, Marketing & Product...

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  • Anton Werner

    Partner

    Anton is a seasoned finance professional & entrepreneur. He has worked at large Private Equity Funds and served as CFO...

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  • Alexander Trieb

    Partner

    Alex is an international serial entrepreneur with 20+ years in the digital, travel and media industry. He has spent the last decade...

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  • Cassian Silins

    Partner

    Cassian is an experienced consulting and industry expert. Prior to joining ennea Cassian has ran KAYAK’s hotel business and acted...

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  • Simon Schiller

    Associate

    Simon has worked multiple years for a sports marketing agency managing business development projects. Due to his time working for...

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  • Rodrigo Ponce de León

    Partner

    Rodrigo is a seasoned Investor and Advisor who has raised more than $100m for various companies. He holds board seats in a number...

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  • Tobias Salzig

    Partner

    Tobias is an experienced Venture Capital Investor serving as Head of Deals at Angelgate. He has more than 20 of years of relevant...

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David Soskin - Partner and co-Founder

David served as Chief Executive Officer of Cheapflights - which he joined in March 2000 upon the management buy-in - until April 2008. Under his leadership, Cheapflights grew from an attic-based operation into an international leader in online travel search. 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 UK Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2006.

David Soskin is on the board of online media company Reaction. He has served as Chairman on many boards including Cortexica, Smart Traffic and Swapit. He was on the board of Aldermore Bank prior to its successful flotation.

He was a non-executive director of the Momondo Group (formerly Cheapflights) until October 2014 when Great Hill Partners acquired a majority stake in the business. Priceline Inc acquired Momondo in 2017 for $550 million.

Previously, David was head of global media and technology 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 became the UK's leading provider of premium childcare and education for the under-5s and was acquired by Bright Horizons in 2016. 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)

David is a Vice President of Petworth Park Cricket Club.

Sascha Hausmann - Partner

Sascha is a partner of the fund.

Sascha started his career in tax consulting & accounting focused on audits, consulting on corporate tax, company structure, reporting and the implementation of finance systems. From 1999 to 2005 he worked at WorldRes, one of the first online hotel reservation systems in the industry, where he was promoted to Global CEO having been Director Finance, Europe. In 2005, Sascha, together with two partners, incorporated StellantPartners, a consultancy firm specialized in Mergers & Acquisitions, operational & strategic advice as well as fund management where he is still a partner today.

Since 2006 he has been an active Venture Capital Investor through HOWZAT Partners based in London and Luxembourg and StellantVentures, StellantPartners’ investment arm. He has been advising HOWZAT Partners since 2006 and became a partner in 2013. In the last 14 years, the three funds have invested into over 80 companies globally across several industries. Currently close to 30 companies have a travel focus.

Between 2007 and 2012, as part of the consultancy practice and investment, Sascha took on the position of CEO of eRevMax (operating under the RateTiger brand) to establish a global presence, build a sales and marketing team and generate a medium to long term business strategy for the business. Since 2013 he has been the Founder & CEO of Busy Rooms, a Malta-based central reservation system for the hotel industry where he drives the expansion and product strategy.

Sascha is a well-recognised figure in several industries, speaking at many events and is a senior advisor, board member and investor at a wide variety of digital businesses.

In his spare time, Sascha is a passionate general aviation pilot and enjoys swimming.

Thomas Koch

Thomas is Founding Partner at Andersen Tax & Legal Germany. He has more than 10 years of experience in VC and M&A. Previously Thomas worked as lawyer for Luther Law Firm, BakerMcKenzie and Linklaters. Thomas joined Howzat Partners 7 years ago as a Partner.

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.

Jan-Frederik Valentin

Jan is an experienced entrepreneur, investor and M&A advisor. He is known for his expertise in Strategy, Marketing & Product. Before founding ennea in 2016, Jan made KAYAK a European household name acting as the company’s Managing Director Europe. Prior to that Jan ran listed Travel24.com. He travelled the world as a journalist for many years. Jan holds several advisory/board seats in European companies.

Anton Werner

Anton is a seasoned finance professional & entrepreneur. He has worked at large Private Equity Funds and served as CFO at Outfiittery and Home24, two leading e-commerce companies. He has founded Beach-Inspector, the world's largest beach platform with more than 1 million monthly users, which he sold to the HolidayCheck Group in 2018.

Alexander Trieb

Alex is an international serial entrepreneur with 20+ years in the digital, travel and media industry. He has spent the last decade founding, growing and exiting start-ups. The last 5+ years Alex has worked at Palantir and Amadeus pioneering data-driven digital strategies in the travel and media industry. Before that, Alex spent several years in Management and IT Consulting.

Cassian Silins

Cassian is an experienced consulting and industry expert. Prior to joining ennea Cassian has ran KAYAK’s hotel business and acted as an advisor in the travel and software industries. Cassian combines a decade-long experience & expertise in e-commerce, digital marketing, and business development with a strong PE & VC network in London.

Simon Schiller

Simon has worked multiple years for a sports marketing agency managing business development projects. Due to his time working for a family office he gained insights into venture capital and M&A. Simon has garnered experience in the tourism industry working for a large German tour operator.

Rodrigo Ponce de León

Rodrigo is a seasoned Investor and Advisor who has raised more than $100m for various companies. He holds board seats in a number of different companies in Europe and the US including Immersive Artistry Holding Company. Further, Rodrigo is part of Hackers and Founders Advisory board, actively supporting different start-ups through its expertise and network.

Tobias Salzig

Tobias is an experienced Venture Capital Investor serving as Head of Deals at Angelgate. He has more than 20 of years of relevant experience in Corporate Finance & Strategy Advisory. He has co-founded several companies and therefore has a strong entrepreneurial mindset. In total, Tobias has raised more than €90m in private & public investments for a range of different companies.

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