Britain’s billion pound tech success
By Will BeckerFeb 8th 2013
Congratulations to MoneySupermarket.com. Our biggest competitor became a billion pound company for the first time this week as its share price climbed to an all-time high of £1.92. Moneysupermarket is a brilliant business and an enormous force for good. They claim to have saved consumers billions; I think that’s true: they've disrupted nearly every market vertical they've touched. They are one of the very best and biggest British technology success stories, our biggest home-grown web business. There’s nothing as good as MoneySupermarket in financial services in Silicon Valley or elsewhere in the US: not at the same relative scale, not with the same impact, not with the same usefulness of product. Bankrate.com is miles behind. And I can’t see anything anywhere else in the world that even comes close on any of those measures. And yet, the British technology press hardly mentions them. They have a tech superstar under their noses (or more problematically, in Cheshire), but some prefer to wax lyrical over loss-making Shoreditch start-ups. Where are Chief Executive Peter Plumb’s awards, tech-award judges? As far as I can see Techcrunch Europe has never even mentioned him. OK, they’re not new news, but when Moneysupermarket floated in 2007, it was the biggest technology IPO, globally, since Google in 2004. Techcrunch has hardly mentioned them since, save for this article from 2008 incorrectly grouping Moneysupermarket with shopping price comparison and predicting that the sector was “on the block”. I'm sure Moneysupermarket doesn’t care, they've no need to court attention in the tech press. They’re quietly getting on with building an exceptional business. Whilst earlier forays overseas haven’t worked out so well, I'm hoping they renew interest in taking on the American market and showing the US how financial comparison should be done. If they succeeded in that, the billion pound valuation would seem like chump change.