The Business On: Brent Hoberman, Co-founder, PROfounders Capital

The bloke fromlastminute.com?

Yes, and furniture site mydeco.com, although that hasn't made quite as much of a splash as Mr Hoberman might have liked.

What now?

The pin-up of the dot.com boom, who made a £30m personal profit from lastminute.com, hasn't retired to the golf course. Instead, he's joined fellow celebrity entrepreneur, easyJet founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, to launch a car club in the UK. Their easyCar scheme will encourage motorists to rent out their vehicles when they do not need them. Owners set the price of their car and its availability, while hirers use smartphone apps to book a driving seat. The pair's car club aims to test the first 1000 cars next spring in London.

Doesn't sound very new?

WhipCar launched in April 2010, allowing car owners to register their vehicles for rent. It's also similar to Zipcar, the car club which last year bought Britain's Streetcar business for $50m (£32m) and has more than 360,000 members across the US and Europe. But this time drivers are hiring Bob next-door's Mondeo rather than a car club's VW Golf parked a few blocks away. Car clubs are still fairly new in this country, but the industry is expected to grow eightfold over the next decade to hit 800,000 members. And Eton-educated Mr Hoberman and Sir Stelios fancy a piece of it.

Where's the money coming from?

A mixture of Sir Stelios' easyGroup and PROfounders Capital, the venture capital business which Mr Hoberman runs with serial entrepreneurs including Peter Dubens. But the pair have fingers in lots of other pies: South African-born Mr Hoberman is a non-executive director at Guardian Media Group and chairman at mydeco as well as at rival furniture site made.com. This month Sir Stelios started working on the launch of a new budget African airline called fastJet.

Don't say:

"Can we take Mr Hoberman's wheels for a spin?" There's no word yet on whether the pair will be chucking their own car keys into the mix.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SThree: Recruitment Resourcer

£20000 - £21000 per annum + uncapped commission: SThree: As a graduate you are...

Ashdown Group: Junior Application Support Analyst - Fluent German Speaker

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Advisor is r...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn