Lastminute celebrates 15th birthday with official (some unofficial from us) milestones turns 15 today and the intermediary has put together 15 facts to tell its story since launch back in October 1998.

But, rather than repeating what Lastminute has provided us with, interesting though its picks are, we thought we would mix them up with a few of our own.

  • 1998 – Brent Hoberman and Martha Lane Fox join forces to launch
  • March 2000 – the company floats on the London Stock Exchange attracting huge interest with shares closing 28% up on the first day of trading – also interesting to note that retail demand for shares for the recent UK Royal Mail IPO was the highest since lastminute’s public listing.
  • August 2000 – lastminute acquires France-based tour operation Degriftour for £97 million.
  • April 2003 to April 2004 – Hoberman and Lane-Fox go on a spending spree, snapping up HolidayAutos for $39.7 million (later part-sold to CarTrawler)… then bed-bank Medhotels for £16 million (eventually offloads to Thomas Cook)… and, finally, Online Travel Corporation for £55 million, which includes Bob “Live Aid” Geldof’s former plaything
  • According to lastminute, 2004 was also the breakthrough year for most people’s first booking of a flight, hotel or holiday online, at launch in 2008 only about 11% of Europeans had booked a travel product
  • 2005 – the company is acquired by Sabre for £577 million.
  • 2007 – despite saying he would stay on with the company for three years, founder and chairman Hoberman decides it’s time to move on.
  • 2009 – the brand launches NRU (near you) application for Android and iPhone showing places to go (restaurants, cafes, theatres etc) in the vicinity.
  • November 2010 – a lengthy period of moving and shaking of lastminute’s executives ends with confirmation of Mark Maddock as UK and Ireland managing director.
  • It’s not all bargain basement – in December 2012 lastminute took a booking for £36,697 for travel 10 days later for four in a luxury hotel in Mauritius.
  • As lastminute celebrates 15 years it reveals 40% of hotel bookings via mobile are now for same-day check-in.

Have we missed anything? Or, perhaps a bigger question, where to now?

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About the Writer :: Linda Fox

Linda worked at tnooz from September 2011 to June 2018 in roles including senior reporter, deputy editor and managing editor.



  1. imran khan

    Interesting facts hopefully last minute do well in the future


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