Perrin Kerravala CB Insights mini review: Part 2
Jinfo Blog

Thursday, 8th March 2012 Sign in to MyJinfo or create an account be able to star items Click for printable version Subscribe via RSS to get updates as soon as Blog items are added Tweet about this item on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn

By Perrin Kerravala


In Part 1 of this review, we looked at the general features of CB Insights, a platform that provides profiles of investors, companies and funds, and includes basic analytic capabilities. In this part, we’ll drill down into functionality.

Update: A new review of this product is available here »


In Part 1 of this review, we looked at the general features of CB Insights, a platform that provides profiles of investors, companies and funds, and includes basic analytic capabilities. In this part, we’ll drill down into functionality.

Front page

When first logging in to CB Insights, users are presented with the most recent news in the database, as shown in Figure 1. However, over time, CB Insights “learns” a user’s preferences, based on their searches and activity. As such, the homepage presentation will evolve to present users with increasingly relevant firm and deal profiles.

Click to view

Figure 1


The founder of CB Information Services, Anand Sanwal, described CB Insight’s mission as “making discovery of companies, investors, and/or acquirers as easy as possible”. The platform has many features for doing just that. Like many deals products, CB Insights offers a single search box for looking up a single company or investor. But its advanced search interface is particularly sophisticated. Users can build a search with as many criteria as they like, such as firm status and location. But you can also search CB Insight’s extensive database of tags, which describe industries or products. Many growth industries are not adequately described by traditional industry classification systems, but CB Insight’s tags capture them very well – such as software-as-a-service, clean coal or online games. Users can also add and then later search on their own private tags for companies and deals. Figure 2 shows a sophisticated search that took less than a minute to create.

Click to view

Figure 2

Results and output options

CB Insights’ profiles on companies, investors and deals can be very detailed, often including information on current and historical financings, full lists of participants, key people and descriptive tags. Users can execute the typical functions they’d expect to find on a sophisticated online research tool, such as save searches, create company lists and export results and reports to Excel or PDF. However, one of the stand out enhancements is the Trends tool, which allows users very quickly to create graphs and charts of an investor’s recent activity, as shown in Figure 3. Users simply pick a firm and time frame and are returned with sleek charts that can be immediately printed or exported to several formats (PDF, PNG, JPG, or SVG vector image). CB Insights also provides the web coding for embedding the charts on other websites. This would greatly increase the speed of building pitch books and creating intranet content.

Click to view

Figure 3


CB Insights makes it easy to track companies, investors and deals. Most profiles include a “Watch” button that triggers alerting, once clicked. Alternatively, subscribers can sign up for the Funding Flash service, which provides a daily email round up of deals from the past 24 hours. The Funding Flash provides key deal details, such as the participants, amount, round and deal industries.


CB Insights has several licensing options, including various individual (rather than firm-wide) options. Users can select from different levels of functionality and pay a monthly fee, using their credit card. Subscriptions can be cancelled at any time, without cancellation penalties. CB Insights will also negotiate corporate or enterprise licences upon request. The firm offers free trials for the CB Insights web platform and Funding Flash.

Final thoughts

CB Insights offers an easy to use product for tracking growth companies and current financings. Moreover, it offers a very low-cost option for a publishing area that has been traditionally dominated by large, expensive information publishers.

« Blog

Benefit from our research

Our proven processes, resources and guidance will help your team make the shift from transaction centre to strategic asset.


Designed around the most common challenges and pain points for time- and resource-strapped information teams

Supercharge remote productivity and value
Holistic content portfolio management
Future-proof your information service
Executive-ready communications


A tailored overview of our research and active discussion with your Jinfo analyst.


Measure your starting point to articulate your strengths and set priorities for future improvements. Assessments gauge risk, capacity, value and more.

Read case studies, and start the conversation:

Consulting benefits

Connect your team with the practical tools, original research and expertise to build and support information strategy in your organisation.

A Jinfo Subscription gives access to all Content (articles, reports, webinars) and Community.

Subscription benefits