In a recent press release by Minister for Enterprise Richard Bruton, he named a number of High Potential Start ups in Ireland that are generating income for the economy and creating employment in Ireland, among these was Global Business Register (GBR) who plan to hire 34 people by the end of 2011.
GBR is an online company founded in 2007 by Robert Leslie and his business partner Ben Cronin. The initial plan for the company was to connect in a single network all the company registers of European countries into one portal, “if you wanted to get information on a company in Germany you could come to our portal and do the same for companies in Italy or Spain.”
GBR began with 12 countries connected to the network and have expanded to include businesses in 24 European countries and 44 US states, making a total of 55 million companies that you can access official government information on directly, “If a company wants to do due diligence or know their customer they can come to our website and check this.”
With more and more companies now crossing the frontier of doing business online, it is important to be able to show that your company is trusted and has a good reputation. “We take all the available information about this company and aggregate it in a way that people can easily assimilate it.
Coca Cola have built up a brand and a reputation over the years, people automatically put trust in it but for a small company who have never traded outside of their locality it may be difficult to sell to France, Germany or Italy, they need a way to show they are a genuine company and have a good reputation.”
“A company like GBR can enhance general trustworthiness by 86%. Studies show that 70% of online shoppers abandon their carts before check out due to a lack of confidence in the website they’re using.
“Our job is to confirm that online businesses have a physical presence, if they have a registered office unit we will independently find a way to contact them at that address. By sending a letter or making a phone call, we’ve now tied a virtual identity to a real identity which really is a key to trust.”
With the variety and number of customers they have, from small solicitor firms to HSBC banks, GBR realised that having access to this much data could do much more than what they were utilising it for. “We created an API that allowed a company who would be quite a large user to integrate search and retrieval capability into their own system, meaning huge time savings in terms of their client process. Users may just want to check that your company is genuine, not fraudulent, up to date with it’s taxes and does all it’s filing, all of this can be done in an automated way without having to get a person involved.”
Systems like this API have huge implications for PayPal and Amazon; ecommerce companies doing business online who need to ensure that sources and receivers of funds are genuine. This was when GBR began to tailor specific products to solve specific problems.
“Take for example an SSL certificate, used to encrypt credit card information when purchasing online. Issuers of SSL certificates have to make sure they are issuing certificates to genuine businesses, that they are able to confirm in the real world you are who they are, research has shown that the more you can show how trusted you are, the more likely it is someone is going to deal with you.”
GBR has now evolved from a company that was once a purveyor of information to one which now creates software solutions that revolve around trust identity. “When we see an opportunity we’ll go after it, we move really fast in terms of making changes when we need to, we’re not going to flog a dead horse.”