Brent Hoberman and Michael Birch invest in Twitter venture

Brent Hoberman co-founded Lastminute.com with Martha Lane Fox in 1998. He’s also just launched a new startup, Mydeco.com. In an exclusive interview with Real Business, he likened his new venture to Twitter: "Customers come first, revenues come later. I realise that sounds very Web 2.0 but look at, say, Twitter. It has no revenue. Does that make it a waste of space?"

Michael Birch is a veteran on the social networking space. He’s the entrepreneur behind Bebo, the social network that sold to AOL for $850m last year.

Birch and Hoberman’s newest investment is in TweetDeck. TweetDeck is a new application for Twitter users that lets "Tweeters" organise the messages they receive through the social network. The company was founded by Iain Dodsworth, a former computer developer. Since its official release last year, TweetDeck has become the most popular Twitter application. Between ten and 15 per cent of all tweets are now posted via TweetDeck.

Hoberman and Birch put in their share of the £1.2m investment through PROfounders Capital, a new investment fund for internet startups. Other PROfounders investors include Peter Dubens, the entrepreneur behind Pipex. PROfounders has already raised £20m with a £50m funding target by the end of the year. The investment vehicle plans to back innovative, online companies with low costs and overheads that want to raise between £500,000 and £2.5m.

Sean Seton-Rogers, general partner of PROfounders, told The Times: “A lot of funds are focused on making sure that the companies they have already invested in survive, they are internally focused, but we are ready to build this legacy. We are open for business and looking for deals.”

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