May 28, 2015 · 2 minutes

The last time you were in a new city and wanted to find dinner, what did you do?

Walk to into the closest storefront with a blazing "PIZZA" sign on the window? Probably not.

What you most likely did was reach into your pocket, pull out your phone, and then search for whatever you were hankering for on Yelp, Foursquare, or Urbanspoon. And then I bet you picked whichever place had the best reviews, or -- in an even less time consuming exercise -- whichever restaurant had the most "stars" based on the crowd-sourced opinions of whomever had noshed in the area before you.

The psychological power of online reviews is real. And it's permeating everything from travel to eating to shopping to finding a babysitter.

"As consumers, we demand to know what other consumers think before we buy something or engage in a service," said Peter Holten Mühlmann, the founder and CEO of e-commerce review site Trustpilot. "That's becoming a part of our lives, maybe more than we realize it."

Copenhagen-founded Trustpilot wants to make everything that you shop for online-reviewable. "The way we see it, the entire online world is in need of a standard of trust through customer reviews, and we'd like to be that standard," Mühlmann said.

And so far, it's succeeded in making itself a highly-regarded arbiter in parts of Europe as to which e-commerce retailers are most trustworthy and reliable. Since it's founding in Denmark in 2007 — when Mühlmann was just 24 — the company quickly expanded to become the trusted retail review product in the U.K. Since launching in the U.S. two years ago, it has already started to gain some impressive traction; the U.S. currently counts for 25 percent of Trustpilot's revenue.

With more growth targeted in the U.S. this year, Trustpilot, which has it's U.S. headquarters in New York City, announced today that it has raised $73.5 million* in a Series D round of funding led by private equity firm Vitruvian Partners, and joined by previous backers DFJ Esprit, Index Ventures, Northzone, and Seed Capital.

"When you get an investment of this magnitude, it's not because you have to do a lot of new things," Mühlmann said. "It's that what you are already doing is working and you just need to throw rocket fuel on it."

The company's review and star rating system has become a point of pride for many organizations wanting to give a transparent and trustworthy customer support experience to retail consumers. Part of the attraction is that Trustpilot doesn't delete any reviews once they are on the platform. (The company does have some systems in place to makes sure that people posing as reviewers are actually customers of the companies they are reviewing and overly offensive comments don't stay online.)

In terms of the it's reach, Trustpilot has already worked extensively with Google to bring Amazon-like rating to online searches for retail goods.

While the funding will help it as it continues to grow, Trustpilot is still a small player in the online review space, as far as the United States is concerned . But its CEO has his sights set on a much bigger market, anyway.

"We are the review site for the entire online world," said Mühlmann.

  • Correction: An earlier version of this post stated that the funding round was $72 million. It is $73.5 million.