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a short history of xbridge

Xbridge was founded in early 2000 from a vision developed during 1999 by Brad Liebmann. Brad subsequently pulled in other founders Ralph Arnold, Deno Fischer and Jim Nelson. These founding members provided the Company with its initial seed capital of £1 million. Brad, Ralph and Deno created Xbridge's initial commercial divisions, while the company's original technologists moved in early 2000 from Barclays Capital, led by Jim Nelson. During 2000 the company also filed the initial patents that comprise the core of Xbridge's proprietary technology platform.

Helped by early investment from The Boston Consulting Group and a patented technology platform, the first Xbridge marketplace was launched in late 2000. The company's unique proposition hit a nerve with the small business community and the business grew quickly. The company launched Decision Finance in late 2002, aggregating an array of leading commercial lenders and insurers on one easy-to-use website, offering business finance and public liability insurance.

Although the company was primarily focussed on commercial lending, it realised the opportunity to innovate and grow its small, but rapidly growing commercial insurance business. In 2003, the company recruited Chris Slater (the current Head of Insurance), with the task of developing the full potential of the insurance arm of the business.

From a core staff of around 10 people in the beginning (many of whom are still with the company today), Xbridge's London office was home to around 30 people by 2005 when the company opened its first customer contact centre in Northampton.

The contact centre was the catalyst for consistent growth for the business insurance service, and in July 2005 SimplyBusiness.co.uk was launched as a flagship brand to ensure Xbridge would retain its competitive advantage into the future.

In June 2008, Brit Insurance invested in Xbridge, enabling the company to grow even further. The company now has over 120 employees; over 60 customer-facing insurance specialists in its Northampton office; another group of insurance specialists in Birmingham, and about 50 in its headquarters in the City of London. Xbridge works with 9 leading insurers to provide its business and landlord insurance products, 15 commercial finance lenders, and has a wide online distribution network of partners and affiliates.