Andrew Salmon, the former CEO of UK-based online price comparison tool uSwitch.com, has made a significant expansion into the Middle East by leading an investment round in Turkish web company EnCazip.

The company, which provides similar services to uSwitch.com but currently focuses in particular on the energy market, is one of Turkey’s fastest-growing price comparison websites and is gaining popularity among consumers in the Eurasian nation.

Salmon is joined in the investment round by several others who also have more than two decades of experience in the price comparison industry. These include Vipul Amin and Lord George Milford Haven (the original founder of uSwitch.com).

uSwitch.com is one of the UK’s leading Internet price comparison sites, designed to help consumers compare prices on a range of services and products including energy, personal finance, telecoms and heating cover.

In Britain, uSwitch has over 1.5million users and also has a 42% market share when it comes to switching energy suppliers. EnCazip, which was founded by Cagada Crimea and Onur Orakçıoğlu, is at the forefront of the price comparison concept’s arrival in Turkey as the country progresses from a smaller economy into an important global emerging market.

Following the investment, the firm will follow several aspects of Andrew Salmon’s successful uSwitch business model.

uSwitch’s success as a business was rooted in the competitive market it promoted. By incentivising suppliers to keep costs down and provide the best possible service to consumers – a model EnCazip will follow as it grows.

In order to attract users and keep the service popular and well-used, the EnCazip site will follow uSwitch’s lead again by remaining free at the point of use.
The investment in EnCazip represents a major milestone in Mr Salmon’s business and entrepreneurial career, which has seen him work as a financier at leading Big Four consultancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) before moving to uSwitch.com in 2000, when it was founded.

A spokesperson for Andrew Salmon said: “Andrew Salmon is proud to play his part in supporting the management team at EnCazip as they take the company on its next steps towards widespread success in the price comparison and service switching niche.

“Andrew Salmon was one of the major driving forces behind the impressive growth of uSwitch from a small website into one of Britain’s leading price comparison and switching services. He is delighted that he is able to support the growth of a similar service in Turkey, as it will help bring the cost savings enjoyed by consumers around the world to the Turkish people as well.

“Turkey is one of the Middle East’s – and indeed the world’s – most exciting and interesting emerging markets, and there is no doubt in Mr Salmon’s mind that a strong injection of competition into the Turkish market will encourage companies there to lower their prices and work even harder to attract consumers.

“The uSwitch model is one that has been successfully replicated around the world in regions as far apart as Western Europe and South America. Mr Salmon is confident that Turkish consumers will soon come to regard price comparison sites as essential features of the market, and he would like to publicly wish the team at EnCazip good luck as they endeavour to bring the Turkish people this vital service.”