Trustpilot: Pioneering Digital Trust, One Review At A Time!
In a society dependent on online shopping, customer reviews represent an inevitable staple of quality. Way back way, however, virtual interacting was still a concept to be developed, as it was the culture of reviewing products, services and business.
While not the most notorious household name, Peter Holten Mühlmann is the man behind the notable rise of the review culture. Through facilitating online shopping for users worldwide, Peter delivered a major impact in helping both mogul brands and everyday retailers grow and prosper.
Learn the full story of how a small-town pedant became a branded name in the scope of big-time businesses:
Step by Step
A native to a tiny town in Denmark, Peter Holten Mühlmann spent his growing years relishing family time and hanging out with his friends. His parents, both medical practitioners, did their utmost to raise their children humbly and accordingly.
Missing a cell phone for most of his childhood, Peter mainly resorted to friendly socializing and gaming. His modest upbringing bore fruit of his forthcoming personal traits, and turned him into a competitive, resourceful, and loyal individual. However, once setting foot into adulthood, Peter needed a greater purpose than lying low.
Spreading his wings and leaving town might not have been his most desirable idea, but a necessary one, for sure. Moving from a town of 1,000 residents to a metropolitan city of millions was a significant change in Peter’s life.
In 2003, Peter realized that, although living large was less than ideal, it would help him put his best foot forward. To make this happen, he enrolled in business school and focused on working his way up to the top.
Every cloud has its silver lining. For Peter, living in a big city meant obtaining more freedom of expression and creating a greater opportunity for entrepreneurship. Even more, Peter, left to his own devices, would adore the idea of pushing the boundaries of success and making the most of every situation along the way. He inhaled the same breath of positivity in his studies, where he scored top grades with minimal effort, and passed his exams in flying colours.
Back in Denmark, Peter learned the state awards scholarships of €500 to outstanding students. In his mind, this kind of financial support promised both opportunities and the chance to individualize, in business and elsewhere. However, chasing after the scholarship urged Peter to struggle to stay on top of his studies, ultimately leaving him feeling unfulfilled and almost ready to give up trying. When asked about his former education, Peter sourly remembered he took nothing of value from the experience. But, had it not been for it, Peter wouldn’t have recognized the fruitful direction he needed to take next.
After a considerable amount of studying, Peter was presented with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. And as it turned out, this kind of opportunity was one to take him out of business school and land him front-and-center of the entrepreneurship playfield.
An Idea is Born
Peter’s mother, who was an avid online shopper, came across a peculiar realization one day. What she found especially struggling when purchasing items online was her ability to distinguish reliable companies from uncredible ones.
Urged to solve the issue, Peter did some digging into the matter, only to realize that no business took the trouble to label themselves as trustworthy. In the back of his mind, Peter had a prepared answer to this problem. In practice, however, assembling customers’ feedback upon a purchase, and publishing it, too, felt like a lot of work.
Even so, Peter also came to the conclusion that creating a platform where transparent and accurate customer reviews would exist was sort of essential to the growing market. A platform like this would not revolve around gathering client reviews only, but also make room for noting their overall feedback and satisfaction with a particular business.
At the time, Peter was already working for a small business, selling electronics. As no reviews existed back then, Peter’s firm struggled to generate loyal customers and earn their trust. Not anymore, though, as once the lightbulb was on, Peter was already dissecting the idea of developing a global online review platform in his head!
Learning Success and Failure
Back in 2007, early-stage social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, were still looking to connect to wide masses of trusted users. In other words, Peter’s idea was ready to shine and do the media giants a massive favor. Locked up in his room and working hard day in and day out - it took Peter three months to build Trustpilot.
With the completion of the website, Peter now needed someone to advertise it, and who better to get the job done than a writer looking for a story? Once getting in touch with a leading Danish journalist, Peter landed his project on the cover page of a renowned online newspaper. Also, on that very same day, Peter’s headline story earned over 20,000 clicks - a then-growing number that would suddenly begin to tumble down in the weeks to come.
Unfortunately for Peter, instant recognition was still an unattainable concept. Faced with the risk of losing everything he had worked for, Peter briefly entertained the idea of opening a new start-up, but quickly reconsidered. Instead, he geared up as he should and went after glorifying Trustpilot even harder.
Yes, earning his reputation in the business might have been a hard row to hoe, but as hard as it was, he’d stick to his guns.
Without the option of taking the easy way out, Peter consulted a few senior businessmen for further guidance. After realizing he would need to play the game for a while before making it big, Peter went for it the old-fashioned way - one step at a time. First, he needed to conceptualize the product market fit, a task which took him over five months of completion. His next step came naturally and it revolved around developing a five-year plan of success.
During a ten-year span, Peter mastered yet another crucial practice in dedicating over 10% of his time in choosing applicants before offering them a position. The reason behind it was to ensure his employees would be able to provide a seamless, mistake-free service to all users. Once Peter got a portion of users acquainted with the ways of Trustpilot, business began to blossom.
Thanks to its intriguing and super-practical concept, Trustpilot earned the attention of businesses alike, and it wasn’t long before the power of transparent product reviewing entered into full force.
Over the years, Trustpilot earned a total of nine investors. Most notably, the company enjoyed a raise of $2 million by Seed Capital in 2007, and $73.5 millions by Vitruvian Partners in 2015. A year later, Silicon Valley Bank als partook in the funding, awarding Trustpilot with an additional amount of $20 million.
All in all, Trustpilot managed to raise an incredible $192.8 million in funding, and it recently presented Draper Esprit as its newest investor.
Trustpilot in a Nutshell Today
These days, Trustpilot is one of the most visited websites worldwide. It recently surpassed 85 million reviews and in over 350,000 companies, too, while also harvesting over $100 million in annual revenue.
With offices based in London, New York, Denver, Melbourne, Copenhagen and Berlin, the company employs over 800 workers and shows no signs of stopping.
Reliable and trustworthy, but most of all, professional and to-the-point, Trustpilot never strays away from its primal mission - to aid customers in finding the best-reviewed companies, not just in any location but every business branch as well.
Even to this day, Trustpilot remains loyal to its unifying mission in becoming a universal symbol of trust all over the internet!