OpenCorporates has come a long way since we started in 2011. In the past seven years we’ve grown from 3 million companies in the UK, Jersey and Bermuda, to over 143 million companies across 128 jurisdictions. We’ve transformed access to public records about companies in the process, and developed a successful business model that drives public benefit rather than fights it – something that seems increasingly urgent following Facebook-gate, Cambridge Analytica, and Google removing “don’t be evil” from their corporate code of conduct.
To mark how far we’ve grown, to launch our new structure (see below), and to look ahead to the future, last night (May 23) we hosted a celebration at our offices in Canary Wharf. We’re delighted to say that all facets of our diverse community were there – journalists, commercial clients, NGOs, government – underscoring that OpenCorporates is essential infrastructure for anyone trying to gain a better understanding of the corporate world.
The evening was full of insightful conversations and interesting perspectives, and it was great to see so many members of our community in the room. Attendees heard from Chris Taggart, OpenCorporates’ Co-Founder & CEO, about our new corporate structure. Sam Leon from Global Witness delivered a fascinating talk explaining how OpenCorporates data has revolutionised data-driven investigations into corruption.
We also had an incredible panel of speakers discussing the (open) future of business information – including Mike Olson, co-founder of Cloudera and a trustee in the OpenCorporates Trust, Jeni Tennison, CEO of the Open Data Institute, Gavin Starks, serial entrepreneur and open data advocate, Chapin Flynn of Mastercard and Scott Bell, investor and head of investment banking at Deutsche Bank UK. We’ll be bringing you videos of our talks and panels in the oncoming weeks, and in the meantime, check out the tweets here.
We’ll be blogging in the next two weeks with a series of posts about our new corporate structure. It’s pretty exciting, and innovative too, and got a great reception at the event, but there’s more to write than will fit here, so please bear with us a few days longer.
But in brief, the structure is designed to safeguard our future by providing a triple lock – mission, equity, asset – allowing the founders a limited return while passing control and economic benefit to the OpenCorporates Trust in the long term, and accept patient capital impact investment. Stay tuned, subscribe to this blog, or sign up to our new newsletter here to for more details.