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

"Sascha and David are both really sharp and give great feedback. They focus on the key elements that make a business successful when giving their point of view. They are outspoken and have extremely relevant experience - so we take their opinion very seriously. They have also connected us to other investors in the past which has been really helpful. HOWZAT has been a great partner for our business. Its support has helped us grow stronger over the years."

David Troya - ​CEO and Co-founder Glamping Hub

"Ever since we started working with the HOWZAT team, they’ve always been there to assist us whenever we needed them and we’ve always been highly satisfied with their input and work. The team is knowledgeable, supportive and always very quick in responding if there are any open questions. HOWZAT also has experience in the food and drink sector which makes them easy to work with and a good fit for us. They also have a good network with other VCs and are particularly helpful when it comes to cross-border issues. In a nutshell: HOWZAT is everything a good investor should be."

Florian Falk - ​Co-founder and CEO of Just Spices

"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

  • Hugo Burge

    Partner and co-Founder

    Hugo is keen to support sustainable creativity in early stage businesses, the arts and crafts...

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  • David Soskin

    Partner and co-Founder

    David Soskin is on the boards of mySupermarket.com and Cortexica Vision Systems...

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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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  • 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 is keen to support sustainable creativity in the arts, crafts and early stage businesses.

Hugo co-founded HOWZAT Partners in 2006, which has now made over 60 early stage digital investments and especially enjoys investing in purpose-driven businesses.

Hugo was CEO of Momondo Group, the travel search business operating the momondo and Cheapflights brands, which was acquired by Booking Group for $550m in 2017. He lead the Company for six years prior to the acquisition, but was on the journey from March 2000 when it was a 2 person Wandsworth-based attic operation. Hugo started Cheapflights’ North American business, opening its Boston office in 2003 and he led the acquisition of the Danish-based metasearch company momondo in 2011.

Hugo is a Director of Marchmont Ventures, which covers a range of business & charitable interests, with the ultimate purpose of encouraging sustainable creativity. He has lead a 6 year restoration of Marchmont House, with plans now to bring it alive as ‘a Home for Makers and Creators’ in the Scottish Borders. Hugo is a Patron of the Borders Art Fair – a community venture to support artists in the Scottish Borders. He is establishing the Marchmont Makers Foundation dedicated to making fine traditional rush-seated chairs in the old stables at Marchmont, keeping alive a village tradition started by Ernest Gimson, one of Britain’s greatest architect designers & a pioneer of the arts & crafts movement.

In 2018, Hugo was inducted into the UK Travel & Hospitality Industry Hall of Fame, after being honoured in 2016, with the Travolution Industry Achievement award. In 2008, Hugo won the Young Entrepreneur of the Year award, in the Travel Industry Hall of Fame. A graduate from Cambridge University (Sidney Sussex College) in Geography, Hugo enjoys exploring and enjoying our wonderful planet, whilst also pondering its conundrums.

Hugo has a love for design & technology improvements that shape our future, but believes in balance, with a particular passion for the grounding values of the arts and crafts movement, arts and crafts today, iphone photography, exploring the UK and walking.

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David Soskin - Partner and co-Founder

David Soskin is on the boards of mySupermarket.com and Cortexica Vision Systems where he is Chairman. 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.​

He 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 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)

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 10 years the two funds have invested in nearly 40 companies globally across several industries.

Between 2007 and 2012, as part of the consultancy practice, Sascha took on the rol​e ​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 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 being a senior advisor, board member and investor to various companies in the online marketplace.

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

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

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