Jinfo BlogCB Insights mini review: Part 1

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By Perrin Kerravala

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Abstract

CB Insights is an information aggregator on high-growth, private companies in diverse industries, such as healthcare, technology, green tech and more. The platform provides profiles of investors, companies and funds, and includes basic analytic capabilities.

Item

CB Insights is an information aggregator on high-growth, private companies in diverse industries, such as healthcare, technology, green tech and more. The platform provides profiles of investors, companies and funds, and includes basic analytic capabilities. Founder Anand Sanwal described CB Information Services as the “happier, friendlier data company”, explaining that their technology-driven data collection avoids the labour-intensive, manual data collection and auditing processes that are commonly employed by large information aggregators.

CB Insight’s software parses and extracts structured information from unstructured information sources (for example, press releases, news media or government filings). Sanwal estimated that where a typical information services company would employ 15 to 25 analysts to gather and audit data, CB Insights gets the job done with one person and its proprietary technology. CB Insights is able to pass labour cost-savings on directly to their subscribers, while still delivering an accurate and trustworthy product. As of this writing, CB Insights only has 9 employees, although their website indicated they are hiring – seeking employees that “would enjoy beating up on some of the lumbering dinosaurs in our industry”. A refreshing attitude, indeed.

Audience

CB Insights is targeted towards individuals and firms that are interested in high growth companies, including venture capital, private equity, angel investors, mergers and acquisitions (M&A) firms and others. CB Insights estimated it currently has about 10,000 users. Notable firms who already subscribe include Bain Capital, Sequoia Capital and Lowenstein Sandler. CB Insights estimated that 75% of its subscribers are North American, with the rest coming primarily from Europe, Asia and Australia. CB Insights data and analyses have already been quoted in several widely read business publications, including Bloomberg Businessweek, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal.

Coverage

CB Insights sources its data exclusively from public sources, including filings, news releases, company and investor websites and social media. CB Insight’s software works only in English, which naturally slants its coverage somewhat. However, CB Insights indicated that major deals occurring in countries where English is not the predominant language usually get covered in some English-language medium, so it is ultimately able to track those deals and companies as well.

CB Insights currently has about 80,000 company profiles. The lack of international data may be a deterrent for some potential subscribers, but the North American and European coverage is extensive. Table 1 provides a geographic breakdown of the current company coverage.

Table 1: number of Company Profiles in CB Insights (as of 12 February 2012)

North America     69,822
Europe     8,103
Asia     2,854
Australia     1,132
South America     172
Africa     130

CB Insight’s database also includes profiles of over 20,000 investors (venture, private equity, angels, super angels, corporate acquirers and government grant programmes), financings at various stages, relevant M&As and exits and individual executives.

Part 2 will cover CB Insight’s search functionality and licensing options.

View Part 2 »

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