Type of site
|Area served||North America, Europe|
|Key people||Peter Holten Mühlmann (Founder and CEO)|
|Alexa rank||948 (February 2018[update])|
Trustpilot.com (or Trustpilot) is a website founded in Denmark in 2007 which publishes reviews for online businesses. The site lists and promotes registered businesses for free but charges fees for additional promotion. Trustpilot employs about 500 people and roughly 500,000 new reviews are posted each month. The firm relies on its users, reviewed business, and software to report questionable reviews, which it can delete at its own discretion.
Trustpilot was founded by the company’s current CEO, Peter Holten Mühlmann, in 2007. He started the company when his parents started shopping online. At the time, he was studying at Aarhus University, School of Business and Social Sciences and would later leave university to pursue Trustpilot. After raising $3 million in early venture funding from 2008 to 2010, Trustpilot received an initial capital injection from Seed Capital Denmark and Northzone in November 2011. One year later, Index Ventures, SEED Capital Denmark and Northzone invested $13 million in Series B funding in Trustpilot, which the company used for international growth.
In 2013, Trustpilot opened offices in New York and London. In the same year, the company was named Danish Startup of the Year at Next Web’s European Startup Awards. In 2014, Draper Esprit (then called DFJ Esprit) invested $25 million in Trustpilot, along with support from the existing investors. According to VentureBeat, the Series C funding round would help Trustpilot “bring its online retail reviews service to the U.S.” In March, 2015, Google announced it was launching product ratings in Germany, the UK and France. In order to do this, “Google is aggregating data in Europe from different sources” including third party aggregators like Trustpilot. Trustpilot has a licensing agreement with Google, allowing Trustpilot reviews to be listed as Google Seller Ratings, or “Google Stars.” Trustpilot has published 13 million reviews about more than 100,000 brands. Trustpilot has raised $118 million in venture funding. Trustpilot employs about 500 people and roughly 500,000 new reviews are posted each month.
Anyone can post a review on Trustpilot. User account creation requires an email address or Facebook account. Trustpilot allows businesses to be listed free with minimal promotion but charges them $4,800 or $8,400 annually, or more for custom packages, for extra marketing and other services. The minimum contract lasts one year. Trustpilot generates some of its income from subscribing companies who use Trustpilot’s software to solicit reviews from customers and gain business acumen from reviews yet it doesn't declare openly that it is engaging in paid marketing for some of the brands it features, one has to access a corporate page to find that out clearly and that trustpilot takes payment for managing reviews and is engaged in advertising and promotion alongside so called "neutral " reviews. .
Independent investigations have revealed that review websites such as Trustpilot have fake reviews on an almost industrial scale. There is controversy about the legitimacy of some of Trustpilot's and other consumer review websites' reviews and the way that it deals with complaints about them, although Trustpilot insists that it strives to only include genuine reviews. The firm allows businesses to selectively display reviews about them, which may violate certain laws or regulations. Trustpilot featured fake reviews for Bizzyloans, one of which depicted a picture of a woman who had died. The fake reviewers often steal the identities of real people to falsely build up reviewed companies' reputations. Most of Trustpilot's Bizzyloans reviews were fake, but Trustpilot deleted them after they were brought to light by KwikChex, an online investigations company. Trustpilot denies that it permits any known fraudulent reviews on its site.
On 14 September 2017, Trustpilot issued an open letter clarifying its review policy following allegations concerning the 'validity of reviews of online estate agent, Purplebricks, by customers'. 
Trustpilot reserves the right to remove reviews for which they are not obliged to offer any explanation. It insists that it always makes a bona fide effort to adhere to the existing laws and its published policies to assure that only authentic reviews remain on the website.
Companies are allowed to publicly respond to reviews, or report a negative review to Trustpilot's employees if they believe that it violates Trustpilot’s user guidelines or claims to have no record of the reviewer as a customer. When a company reports a review, the review is automatically removed and replaced with a message indicating that the review is being assessed. If the reviewer does not supply the requested information (e.g. proof of purchase) within seven days, the review is removed.
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