Hugo Burge Obituary, Death – Hugo Burge, a British entrepreneur, startup investor, and arts enthusiast, died on Wednesday at his home. He was previously the CEO of both Cheapflights and the Momondo Group. “A terrible and unexpected loss,” remarked Burge’s long-time co-investor David Soskin. “He was much too modest about his talents, not only as a successful technology CEO and investor, but also as the creator of an arts and crafts center at Marchmont House, his magnificent Palladian residence in Scotland.”
In the year 2000, Burge co-founded Howzat Media, an internet investment firm. When Cheapflights, a UK-based online travel bargains company, was only three people strong, it received an early investment. Burge advised Cheapflights and later became CEO, guiding it to the point where it purchased Momondo, a Danish travel-price comparison site, in 2011. Burge was appointed CEO of the Momondo Group and used cash flow to establish a company with over 350 employees using bank loans. In 2014, private equity investment totaled $130 million. Momondo Group was acquired by Priceline Group (previously Booking Holdings) for $550 million in 2017.
“It became clear to all of us very quickly that Hugo was a businessman from the top shelf, intelligent, empathetic, calm, analytical, mathematical, and very hardworking,” said Martin Lumbye, who met Burge in 2009, when Burge was CEO and main shareholder of Cheapflights Media, and then a partner and part of the team that negotiated Momondo’s merger and sale to Cheapflights. “Hugo’s background as an incarnate English gentleman was not only a style, but also an honest part of his personality.”
Burge also worked for another firm, Howzat Ventures, as an early-stage investor in entrepreneurs, primarily in the tourist industry. Trivago was a bold investment. Triavgo was valued at $1 billion when it exited in 2012. Burge resigned as CEO and left the online travel sector following the Momondo Group acquisition and the Trivago settlement. Burge, according to The Times of London, “might be the nation’s most eligible bachelor.” He appeared to be embarrassed by the comment. Following Momondo’s sale, Burge founded Marchmont Ventures, a fund that sponsored activities with the ultimate purpose of creating “sustainable creativity.”
Burge and Alan Martin, a former Momondo Group CFO, oversaw the fund. One of the investments has been to assist in the relaunch of a southern Scottish art fair. Burge envisioned transforming Marchmont House in Greenlaw, Scotland, into an artists’ retreat. Burge’s father, Oliver Burge, purchased a section of the Marchmont estate in 1988 as a director of Marchmont Farms Ltd. In 2007, father and son bought the house. Hugo Burge has been co-leading the reconstruction of the house since 2011, and he has supported the hosting of artists, crafters, and other makers since late 2020. Burge was a pivotal figure in the Arts and Crafts movement in the United Kingdom.