Crunchbase ramps up to deliver business information everywhere

Once just a useful tool for Silicon Valley types, Crunchbase has a deeper vision.

Data science
Nick Hoffman (CC BY 2.0)

I’m a frequent visitor to the Crunchbase site. Crunchbase’s purpose in life is to surface information about companies -- as someone who covers technology companies, Crunchbase is my go-to location for information about management, funding rounds and other relevant corporate data.

Crunchbase maintains a “master record” of corporate information, gathered from a wide variety of sources -- contributors, partners and content teams. Crunchbase’s basic product is free, while it also offers a number of premium (read: paid) solutions for higher-level purposes.

The company (and I still find it hard to think of Crunchbase as a company, for me it has always been simply a destination site) is today announcing an $18 million Series B funding round, alongside a new paid service. Crunchbase Enterprise is a new offering for teams to access Crunchbase data, designed (as these things so often are) to be useful to sales personnel within an organization. The idea being that sales teams can closely follow investment trends, identify growing industries and identify companies that could be likely customers for their services.

Crunchbase already has a number of top-shelf organizations as customers, including Affinity, Datafox, Datanyze, Deloitte, Engagio, Everstring, Infer, Microsoft, Nestle, Samsung, Slack, Target, Volkswagen, and IBM Watson.

The big vision

Crunchbase wants to become what it calls the master record keeper for company data. In this aim, they’re not alone -- a number of more traditional players, as well as innovative startups, are in this space as well. Crunchbase arguably has an advantage on the more traditional players by being internet-native, data driven and more agile -- it’s hard for an organization that started as a newspaper-clipping service to quickly embrace the opportunity of the web.

Crunchbase's progression has been interesting to follow. The company got its start as the database of innovative companies underlying TechCrunch and spun out from AOL in September of 2015 with a Series A financing led by Emergence Capital. Since that time, it has moved on from simply being a register of companies that a single blog writes about to being a far broader business data repository.

As I said, this space is highly competitive space, with incumbents and new entrants alike vying for mindshare -- it will be interesting to see how Crunchbase applies this new investment and the results that it generates for them.

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