Trustpilot: How a One Man Startup Turned into the World’s Biggest Online Business Review Community

Trustpilot, a leading software provider which publishes reviews for online businesses, was founded in 2007 by Peter Mühlmann, a 20-something-year old who dropped out of business school after three-and-a-half years to found his company. The tech executive got the idea for the company in efforts to help his parents make good purchases online. Since then, the firm has stayed true to its mission of helping customers find the best companies and products.

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“Most people expect there is this bathtub moment, you sit there and you get one magic idea, and that turns into the company,” Mühlmann told Business Insider in a 2017 interview. “I want to emphasize it’s very rarely like that.”

The CEO reiterated that good ideas often take a long time to get off the ground. It took about a decade for TrustPilot to gradually grow into the business it is today.

“People have enormously unrealistic expectations about the timeline involved,” said the young entrepreneur. “The only things you read about are the things that are interesting, and by definition, that’s the things that are unusual. So that creates a certain bias, and everybody thinks that everything you read about, that’s the norm.”

The customer review platform, which was founded in Denmark in 2007, has offices across the world in cities such as Copenhagen, London, New York, Denver, Melbourne and Berlin and employs about 500 people. The company has raised nearly $144 million in seven rounds of funding from backers including early investor Seed Capital, Index Ventures, Draper Esprit, Vitruvian Partners and Silicon Valley Bank.

TrustPilot says that it is growing its new reviews by 1,000,000 each month and expanding its network of new registered users by 45,000 per day. It serves more than 179,000 global business customers in 65 countries. The company is positioned to continue gaining on the e-commerce revolution, driven by a near 80% surge in online sales and a 16% grow in global Internet users.

As half of all shopping is set to move online by the end of this year, data shows that customers increasingly value reviews. Turstpilot estimates that online reviews can provide companies with a 40% boost in revenue per year.