Top Gun moves Forward with uSwitch acquisition

Neil Hutchinson’s Forward group acquires the online price comparison and switching service


The 2008 Growing Business Top Gun has renamed the company he founded six years ago following the acquisition of price comparison and switching site uSwitch.com.

Neil Hutchinson re-branded fast-growing search marketing agency TrafficBroker, which he set up in 2004, as Forward3D, after completing the purchase of uSwitch from US media firm Scripps Network Interactive for an undisclosed sum.

Hutchinson said the move reflected his company’s progression from a search agency to an internet group, Forward, which comprises Forward3D and the newer consumer division, Forward Innovations.

uSwitch will move Forward Innovations into home and financial services, joining other money-saving sites InvisibleHand and Omio in the consumer division.

“We are an independent, entrepreneurial group focused on delivering results for both businesses and consumers,” Hutchinson said. “uSwitch.com has been a consumer champion for a decade and fits perfectly as our new flagship brand within our consumer division, Forward Innovations.”

With most of uSwitch’s traffic coming from internet search, Hutchinson also saw an opportunity to use the search marketing expertise at Forward3D to boost revenues for the group. He hopes the acquisition will enable Forward to continue doubling its revenues year on year.

“It is a great complement to our other brands and we aim to grow uSwitch.com into an even stronger consumer brand than it is today,” he said. “There is some incredible talent within uSwitch.com and we are excited about investing in some innovative new initiatives next year.

“We put technology and the ability to action ideas at the heart of our organisation and we will be keen to inject some of our entrepreneurial spirit into the uSwitch.com business too.”

Forward now employs more than 100 staff worldwide, while revenues exceeded £55m in 2009.

© Crimson Business Ltd. 2010

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