The government-backed but privately financed company was effectively a state in its own right, or a state within another state.
1590s–1720s), the VOC-funded exploratory voyages such as those led by Willem Janszoon (Duyfken), Henry Hudson (Halve Maen) and Abel Tasman revealed largely unknown landmasses to the western world. 1570s–1670s), the VOC navigators and cartographers helped shape geographical knowledge of the modern world as we know them today.
The commercial networks of Dutch transnational companies, like the VOC and WIC/GWIC, provided an infrastructure which was accessible to people with a scholarly interest in the exotic world.
The company was formed to profit from the Malukan spice trade, and in 1619 it forcibly established a capital in the port city of Jayakarta, changing the name to Batavia (modern-day Jakarta).
Over the next two centuries the Company acquired additional ports as trading bases and safeguarded their interests by taking over surrounding territory.
In 1580 the Portuguese crown was united in a personal union with the Spanish crown, with which the Dutch Republic was at war.
The Portuguese Empire therefore became an appropriate target for Dutch military incursions.
The VOC enjoyed huge profits from its spice monopoly through most of the 17th century.century to include the whole of the Indonesian archipelago, which would later become the modern Republic of Indonesia.
In spite of the VOC's historical contributions, the company has long been criticized for its monopoly, colonialism, exploitation (including use of slave labour), and environmental destruction (especially deforestation).
A pioneering early model of the multinational corporation in its modern sense, the company is also often considered to be the world's first true transnational corporation. In the early modern period, the VOC was also the driving force behind the rise of corporate-led globalization, corporate power, corporate identity, corporate culture, corporate social responsibility, corporate ethics, corporate governance, corporate finance, and financial capitalism.