Neil Hutchinson: TrafficBroker

Focus: Online marketing

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haysmacintyre TOP GUN 2008:

Neil Hutchinson, 30
: TrafficBroker

Transforming his business from one-man band to its current position as one of the UK’s largest affiliate marketing firms in just four years, it has certainly been a meteoric rise for our 2008 Top Gun. Hutchinson founded TrafficBroker from his bedroom, funding the launch with a £2,000 overdraft, before going on to finance his business’ outstanding growth with a £160,000 angel investment.

TrafficBroker’s sales have grown from £2.2m in 2005 to £18.3m, according to the most recent set of accounts, and the investor has long since been paid off. The company’s core offering is simple enough – it helps clients, which include eBay, O2 and Amazon, to bid for better positions on search engines, with TrafficBroker receiving a fee for each resulting sale.

But Hutchinson’s ambitious vision for the company goes beyond industry-leading search solutions. A recent diversification saw the formation of the Forward Internet Group, which adds website publishing and technology offerings to established search expertise.

The quietly spoken entrepreneur adds his Top Gun triumph to growing recognition of his talent from a range of sources, and there’s sure to be plenty more to come. The firm already works for more than 250 companies in 40 countries and turnover should hit £25m this year.

2012 update:

Rebranded as Forward, Neil Hutchinson has evolved the business into a next generation investor with a portfolio of internet businesses. Forward Internet Group buys and transforms businesses such as uSwitch and Factory Media. Forward Labs invents new businesses in house such as Invisible Hand and Drop Wines. Forward Venture Partners has a portfolio of minority investments in early stage businesses.  

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