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Half the crew were lost before the expedition made it back to the Netherlands the following year, but with enough spices to make a considerable profit.

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).

The VOC monogram was possibly the first globally-recognized corporate logo.

Further, a number of Dutchmen like Jan Huyghen van Linschoten and Cornelis de Houtman obtained first hand knowledge of the "secret" Portuguese trade routes and practices, thereby providing opportunity.

The company's economic activity in Mauritius largely contributed to the extinction of the dodo, a flightless bird that was endemic to the island.

Around the world and especially in English-speaking countries, the VOC is widely known as the "Dutch East India Company".

Before the Dutch Revolt, Antwerp had played an important role as a distribution centre in northern Europe.