Kompass, nearly 70 years in the service of information on companies worldwide.

The strength of Kompass International today resides in its capacity to integrate the most advanced technologies, the latest digital marketing innovations and the new behaviours of the digital economy with the know-how and experience in processing data on companies that have been developed and cultivated for nearly 70 years.

1946 1958 1962 1970 1988 1990

The first edition of the Kompass is put on the market in Switzerland, created two years before that by the Neuenschwander family with the first version of the classification system (the ancestor of today’s Kompass classification).


Launch of the international Kompass network under the auspices of the “Foundation in favour of international economic information” (Fondation en faveur de l’Information Economique Internationale) managed by the Neuenschwander family, with the first trade name and classification system utilisation licence sold to Sweden in the form of a franchise. Spain, Denmark and Belgium followed.


France, Italy and Great Britain join the Kompass network. Kompass France is the new name for the “Industrial Directory” (l’Annuaire Industriel) published up until 1961 by the SNEI created in 1923, which was no doubt the first directory of this type in the world at that time.


The company of the Neuenschwander family becomes Kompass International AG. At that time and until the 1980s, the original Kompass classification system was updated locally, even though certain European members of the network created the “Euroconsult” association to try to normalise their data.


Kompass’ international network welcomes three new franchises (Thailand, Iceland and Brunei), then reaching 20 member companies.


The SNEI, the publisher of Kompass France, becomes Kompass France SA, a 100% subsidiary of the “yellow pages” (Pages Jaunes, a France Télécom group). This was the beginning of dematerialisation: It launched the first Kompass CDRom and its Minitel service.


Launch of the first Kompass website www.kompass.com


Creation of WF1, the first version of the Kompass classification system that was totally harmonised at the international level.


After buying half the share capital of Kompass International and 17 of its franchisees three years earlier, Coface acquired 100% of the capital of Kompass International AG.


Coface buys Kompass France from Pages Jaunes, along with Kompass Spain and Kompass Belgium, and a year later merged Kompass France with Kompass International, which set up shop on the premises of the former French franchise in Courbevoie, northwest of Paris.


Last hard copy edition of the Kompass directory in France. To date, there are only a few rare countries left (Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, South Korea) that have sustained a hard copy edition with the parallel edition on the Internet.


Coface sells Kompass International, its seven subsidiaries (Belgium, Spain, Great Britain, Germany, Poland, Czech Republic and USA) and its network of 58 franchises to Natixis HCP (a 100% subsidiary of the Natixis group).


Kompass International launches a new Internet portal, www.kompass.comwww.kompass.com, and a new totally remade classification (WF13). It upgrades its economic model to a digital model.


Kompass International becomes a “better data company.” It initiates its new strategy in France and then in its whole international network.

Did you know ?

Sébastien Bottin published the first Business directory in 1798 under the name Almanac Trade and Industry.