Trustpilot raises $55 million for online business reviews

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Trustpilot, a Copenhagen-based ratings platform for ecommerce companies, today announced that it has raised $55 million in a series E equity investment round led by Advent International affiliate Sunley House Capital Management, with participation from Vitruvian Partners, Draper Esprit, Index Ventures, Northzone, and Seed Capital. It comes after a $20 million round in September 2017, and brings the firm’s total venture capital raised to $198.8, according to Crunchbase.

CEO Peter Mühlmann said the influx of capital will help strengthen Trustpilot‘s market position through investment in its sales and technology teams. “There has never been a greater need for trust online and in the world which is why we keep pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in the review space,” he said. “Our open and transparent approach is crucial. It empowers consumers and companies to collaborate, innovate and improve together and that’s what builds lasting brand trust.”

Mühlmann founded Trustpilot — which closed out 2018 as one of the top 1 percent most-visited websites globally — in 2007, when he noticed his parents were struggling to find reputable online stores. Anyone with an email address, Facebook profile, or Google account can submit reviews to Trustpilot, and although companies can report posts they believe to be disingenuous or that plainly violate Trustpilot’s guidelines, Trustpilot exposes the number of reviews that have been flagged and what the ultimate outcome was.

Trustpilot

Above: Reviews on Trustpilot.

Image Credit: Trustpilot

Trustpilot says its reviews database contains more than 58 million reviews of over 265,000 businesses in over 150 countries, and that users contribute about 1.2 million new reviews each month. It also says that those reviews get about 3.5 billion monthly impressions, more than 400 million of which come from Google alone.

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Trustpilot surfaces reviews on businesses’ websites via an embeddable, customizable widget — Trustbox — and on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and LinkedIn through bespoke apps. They show up in Bing and Yahoo in the form of merchant reviews, and thanks to Trustpilot’s licensing agreement with Google, they’re listed as Google Seller Ratings in Google Shopping, AdWords, Google Search Partners, and Google’s organic search results.

Trustpilot extends to corporate clients a number of tools and services, including app integrations with Magento, WooCommerce, Shopify, and BigCommerce; an API that merges the review invite and response flow into customer relationship management (CRM) software and email clients; and automated invitations that ask recent customers to leave reviews. (Trustpilot claims that businesses using its review reminders collect an average of 35 percent more reviews.) That’s in addition to a performance dashboard that tracks things like collection rates and changes in review scores over time, and Review Insights, a feature that taps AI to automatically sort, segment, and score reviews by topics like price, website experience, delivery, and other topics.

Trustpilot lets businesses collect and respond to reviews for free, but its suite of other features don’t come cheap. Its $299 per month Lite plan adds in email invitations and TrustBox access, and the $549 per month Pro plan includes analytics, the ability to export review data, and more. Access to the API and embedded review profile, meanwhile, is locked behind the top-end, variably priced Enterprise tier.

“Trustpilot offers a powerful value proposition to businesses, enabling them to improve their digital marketing efficiency and enhance customer engagement,” Sunley House Capital’s Mohammed Anjarwala, who will join Trustpilot’s board of directors, said. “We believe that the company has significant opportunities for continued growth, both in its core UK market and internationally, and look forward to supporting Peter and the Trustpilot team.”

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Trustpilot currently employs about 700 people in its Copenhagen headquarters and across offices in London, New York, Denver, Vilnius, Berlin, and Melbourne.

Source: VentureBeat

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