Consumer-review site Trustpilot is set to start trading on the London Stock Exchange this week at a valuation of around £1bn, providing a big payday for the mostly European venture capital funds which supported the company.
According to company filings, which takes into account everyone with over three per cent of the shares of the company, European VC funds Draper Esprit, Index Ventures, Northzone and Seed Capital had 67% of the company or £670m worth of shares.
This is not always the case with hot European tech companies. Romanian software company UiPath, for instance, was funded by European VCs early on but in the later stages, the rounds were dominated by global or US funds.
Trustpilot has been a slow-burn success story though compared to UiPath. Founded in 2007, the company has grown at a steady clip for years, today becoming one of the leading sites for online reviews with a mission to improve transparency on the internet.
Mühlmann started Trustpilot (literally) from his parent’s garage, initially a side business to his already up-and-running e-commerce startup. “At the time, I considered the e-commerce business a rather big success but after a while, I thought it would be more fun to do something that had more meaning,” he told Sifted back in 2019.
The company has become an important part of the online world, with startups such as energy supplier Bulb to money transfer site Transferwise boast about their top star rating. At a time when online shopping is increasing, this is only more important.
According to company filings, Draper Esprit has 16.9% of the shares in the company, or around £169m worth. Index has 16.47%, Northzone 17% and Seed Capital 17%. The other big shareholders are Vitruvian Partners, a European private equity firm with 17% and Sunley House Capital, a US affiliate of Advent International which does public and crossover pre-IPO investments, which has 7.35%. Peter Holten Mühlmann, the CEO of Trustpilot, has a 4.39% stake, or £44m worth.
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