Meet Dana ‘disruptor’ Tobak, Co-founder & CEO of Hyperoptic

Remember the painful days of dial-up connections, watching a page load s-l-o-w-ly? And then broadband came along. 

Thanks to swifter internet connection, ethernet cables are a thing of the past. In the midst of a pandemic, working from home and keeping in touch via Zoom etc with friends and family would have been unimaginable 12-15 years ago. 

Well, Dana Tobak is who you should thank for superfast internet in the UK. Her vision of hyperfast full fibre broadband shook up the entire sector, resulting in the hugely successful Hyperoptic and forcing the complacent giants of the telecommunications industry to up their game

Hyperoptic was the first company to offer 1000 mbps download speeds in the UK; its fibre-based internet service provider is currently 14 times faster than the UK average. It has been named ‘Best Superfast Broadband’ for the last six consecutive years, and listed in the 2020 Sunday Times Sage Tech Track 100 as one of the fastest growing companies in the UK for the last four consecutive years.

Clearly seen as a good investment, Hyperoptic has received £50million from George Soros’ Quantum Strategy Fund, £100m from a consortium of major European banks, and more recently KKR announced it had bought a majority stake in the company.

Now based in Hammersmith, with over 600 employees and the support of private equity stalwart KKR, Hyperoptic plans to build their hyperfast network out to two million homes by 2021 and five million by 2024. 

So how did it all start? US-born Dana read Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) then International Relations at Tufts. Before Hyperoptic, she worked in various roles at Sapient, O2 and Oracle. In recognition for her role in pioneering the shift to “Gigabit Britain”, Dana was awarded a CBE in the 2018 Honours List. Her success in building successful global businesses for over 20 years is something she attributes to “placing the consumer at the heart of success, and generally refusing to take no for an answer”, noting too that “the key thing for entrepreneurs is to look at ambiguity and feel passionately about setting it straight. There are people who can see their way through a muddle…I think I have that.”

If you want to discover how to disrupt a multi-billion industry, or are in need of a bit of inspiration and insight from a successful entrepreneur, come along to ‘My Entrepreneurial Journey’ on Thursday 19 November to hear from Dana Tobak. 

This is a rare opportunity to have a relaxed discussion so don’t miss it! Sign up here

Be part of the Upstream family: 

To be the first to hear about our events, get immediate access to new podcast episodes, and hear news picked just for you Join our community!

Join our Mailing List 

Follow us on Twitter 

Connect with us on LinkedIn