Cases 17.02.2016
By Line Grønlykke

Trustpilot: rewind to 2007

In 2006, a 24-year old student from Aarhus got a splendid idea.

Peter Mühlmann started to notice stories told by friends and acquaintances. One was about someone who had purchased a camera online only to find out it was a fraud. Another was about a bus full of tourists, who ended up in a hotel in Turkey, which excelled in its total lack in sanitary facilities. These stories grew to an idea about creating transparency through a platform driven by customer reviews – reviews that could be trusted.  

 In 2007, the idea turned into reality when Peter founded Trustpilot, a review-driven platform that made it possible for consumers to read and write reviews.

In August 2008 our Investment Manager, Niels approached Peter Holten Mühlmann. Niels saw, in Peter, a young, inexperienced, but intensely committed and passionate entrepreneur, who possessed the ability to communicate his vision. He had market traction, but still needed to find the recipe for a sustainable business model.

Niels saw, that Trustpilot tapped directly into two important trends: user-generated content and peer-to-peer reviews. In short, we were attracted by the team, the trends and the traction. Multiple venture funds showed interest, but clearly expressed that the business was too early for them to invest.       

In 2008, an investment in Trustpilot was made. SEED Capital took an active role in getting the right additional people on board and finding the right business model. A pivotal moment occurred when the business model proved viral. Every new customer began actively encouraging users to review their purchase on Trustpilot, which in turn resulted in new customers.

Trustpilot grows
In the summer of 2010, Trustpilot had grown from small startup to full-fledged organisation and it demanded leadership, which Peter could not provide alone. He knew that and the management was strengthened with two extremely strong profiles making it nothing short of a world-class team.

 In December 2010 Trustpilot became a part of SEED Capital's second fund. We actively got involved in the process of finding external capital to secure growth, which resulted in the selection of Northzone as new investor. Since 2010 more investors have joined Trustpilot's journey counting Index ventures, Draper Esprit and Vitruvian Partners

Peter has grown immensely as Trustpilot has grown. We are impressed by his execution skills, insight and his general mindset and are happy that Peter chose us as his long term capital partner.

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