We’re proud to release the OpenCorporates Annual Report 2020.
The year 2020 will be remembered for decades to come, thanks to the pandemic, and the changes to the world it has brought about. As well as the tragic loss of life, the short-term consequences on people’s livelihoods, on their physical and mental health, and on their hopes and aspirations, there have been huge societal shifts. Many of these – changes in how we work, how we shop, how we communicate, the move to being a data-first world, the vast power of tech giants – were shifts that were already happening, but have been massively accelerated.
Meanwhile, trillions of dollars have been spent to bail companies out and protect the economy from the effects of Covid-19. This was, of course, necessary to prevent wholesale collapse of economies, but could easily have the effect of increasing inequalities and undermining democracies if it isn’t accompanied by trust and transparency of companies and company ownership.
This is one of the many reasons why the work OpenCorporates does is so important and so urgent. We are proud of the positive difference we have already made in the world – not just more or less inventing the idea of open company data, or creating a database of over 190 million companies available to all for free, but also creating a successful public benefit business model that has powered our success and growth.
It sounds strange to say this, but 2020 was a good year for OpenCorporates. We exceeded our revenue and usage targets. We increased our data offering to more than 190 million companies in 140 jurisdictions. More people used our data than ever before, and our 5 million monthly website users included thousands of journalists and investigators.
We made a powerful, public case for corporate transparency by lobbying governments and other stakeholders. But we need to do more, and we need to grow much faster – to do nothing less than become the world’s foundational source of company data.
Our open, well-provenanced data, freely accessible to everyone, will be fundamental to ensuring the future of business in this new, digital world which is based on trust and transparency, not opacity and illegal activity.
As you read through this annual report, I hope you will realise that it has to be OpenCorporates who becomes the world’s dominant source of core company information – with the governance, the mission, the structure, the team and the expertise to deliver on this goal. Only our public benefit model, guaranteed by the OpenCorporates Trust, can steer us to a future of openness, transparency and public good.
This is why we have created an operating board for OpenCorporates, and are delighted to have appointed Oliver Ratzesberger – with his experience in running a multi-billion dollar company – as our first chair. We have exciting plans for the next few years, and we look forward to sharing them with you in the future.
I know we can do it because I remember how far we have come. 2020 marked the tenth anniversary of OpenCorporates. Ten years ago, this was a project with only two people working on it, generating no revenue, and offering data on only three million companies in three jurisdictions. In ten years’ time, we believe OpenCorporates will be to company information what Wikipedia is to general knowledge.
Finally, I pay tribute to the OpenCorporates team, an amazing group of people, who are responsible for our success, especially this year. Despite the difficult times, the sudden move to fully remote working, and the uncertainty that the pandemic has brought, they have excelled, supporting each other, beating targets, and delivering impact to our users, our clients, and the world.
Join us and be part of a better future.
CEO & Co-founder
OpenCorporates Annual Report 2020
Read report >
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