The 52-year-old Marquess of Milford Haven, who was born George Mountbatten, was mainly known as a keen polo player up until he launched uSwitch.com in the year 2000.
Lord Milford Haven, who is a distant relative of the Queen and is 459th in line to the throne, helped develop the energy price comparison website during the late ’90s. The start-up soon established itself as a useful means for UK consumers to find the cheapest tariff available for their gas and electricity supplies.
George Mountbatten founded uSwitch in the 1990s when he was just 38 years old. He had been inspired by a prior investment in a field marketing company, which encouraged customers to save money by talking to them face to face about how they might switch their energy supplier for their own benefit.
As it exists today, the uSwitch site works on the same principle. It prioritises the customer, ensuring they aren’t charged anything for the information provided on site. The company has been credited with a number of accolades, and is thought to have made the UK energy market a much fairer place for consumers.
In the early 2000s, there was an explosion in use of the site, with many customers discovering the advantages of switching their energy supplier in order to save money. In 2006 he sold his shares to US newspaper publishers E W Scripps for £210 million, and secured his place as an internet success story.
As uSwitch grew, it was able to begin offering price comparisons for telecommunications and personal finance products, widening the audience it was able to assist in saving money. Although the UK energy comparison market is now a little more saturated than it was in the 1990s, uSwitch has remained a popular destination for consumers who are looking to keep their monthly bills as low as possible.
Following the sale to Scripps, George Mountbatten has been a prolific investor in companies around the world. He helped Cagada, a former uSwitch customer, to set up a similar service in Turkey called EnCazip. Cagada had successfully reduced his gas bill via uSwitch while he was studying in London, and contacted Lord Milford Haven to ask for help with establishing a Turkish equivalent. George Mountbatten assisted him, investing his time and money in the venture to help create the successful business that EnCazip is today.
Entering the Brazilian market
In 2014, George Mountbatten launched his latest price comparison service in Brazil. The company is named MoneyGuru and focuses on personal finance products. It is the first such service to cover the Brazilian market.
MoneyGuru is based in Sao Paolo and was set up with an initial investment of £10 million, a large part of which was provided by George Mountbatten himself. The MoneyGuru website provides a price comparison service along with a news section. The new company quickly established partnerships with Itau and Bradesco, two of Brazil’s largest banks.
A sporting gent
Although George Mountbatten might seem completely focused on his business goals to an outsider, he still hasn’t forgotten his other passions. George Mountbatten has always been a keen polo player, and his success through uSwitch has allowed him to create the renowned Trippetts Farm. As one of the largest polo yards in Great Britain, the grounds host four different polo teams and 350 ponies.
George Mountbatten’s travels have not just inspired his international business acquisitions – their influences can be seen at Trippetts too. Bringing together elements of various polo yards that he’s visited globally, with grooms from all over the world being treated incredibly well.
It’s obvious from the Marquess of Milford Haven’s successes in the worlds of both business and sport that he is a highly driven individual. With Mountbatten’s online ventures going from strength to strength, it’s exciting to consider what might come next for energy comparison sites worldwide.