How The Crunchbase News Team Uses Data In Its Reporting

Illustration of workers gathering data.

Crunchbase News covers private markets, startups, venture capital and entrepreneurship, usually through the lens of data. This page explains where we get our data, how it’s aggregated, and what we and our readers must take into consideration when thinking about private company data.

Our reporting is primarily centered on data and information from Crunchbase. For more general information about Crunchbase News, its policies, staff and its relationship with Crunchbase, visit our About page.

What Data Do We Use?

Types of Crunchbase data we frequently use in our reporting include:

  • Companies
  • Funding rounds
  • Investors: the set of institutional and individual investors — categorized by type — that lead and participate in funding rounds.
  • Funds: the discrete pools of capital raised by institutional investment firms.
  • People: aggregated public data from Crunchbase, including information about educational backgrounds, current professional status, past jobs and locations. 
  • Diversity Spotlight: data on founders and company leaders from underrepresented backgrounds, including Black, Latine and LGBTQ founders in the U.S.

Whenever it’s possible, we also check our findings against available industry reports and news coverage, which we will typically cite in any resulting reporting.

➡️ Read more about how Crunchbase gets its data.

About Reported And Projected Private Company Data From Crunchbase

In the majority of our coverage, we use current reported data from Crunchbase. That means we’re capturing a snapshot of the current state of Crunchbase data at the time of reporting and our coverage is based on the best available data at the time. 

Keep in mind that new information is continuously added to Crunchbase as it becomes publicly available, but no database of private companies or their funding rounds is 100% complete or up to date, not even Crunchbase. 

Also note that data lags tend to be most pronounced at the earliest stages of venture activity, with seed funding amounts increasing significantly after the end of a quarter/year.

Private Company Data

We primarily cover private companies and the various flavors of private equity, with venture capital chief among them. 

We strive to remain mindful of the biases introduced by using reported data, and in the interest of transparency, we’ll discuss some of the known issues with private-company data. These are challenges shared among all aggregators of private-company data, including Crunchbase.

  • Reporting delays. Typically, venture capital deals are not disclosed at the precise time they’re signed. This means there’s usually a gap of several weeks between finalizing paperwork and public disclosure, even for big rounds raised by late-stage ventures. Smaller rounds might be disclosed publicly, but not get picked up by the press or an automated data collection system. Especially at the seed stage, when sums raised are often too small to trigger a regulatory filing and many companies opt to remain stealthy, many rounds are added to the public record long after they are finalized. 
  • Voluntary or selective reporting bias. Crunchbase gathers data from many sources, and some contributions to its database come directly from its users and site visitors. Some of these individual contributors represent the companies and investment firms they’re contributing information about. Accordingly, this may paint a rosier picture of a company or industry sector. You could easily understand why a failed company would want to withhold how much investor capital was lost on their venture, or why an entrepreneur wouldn’t create a Crunchbase profile for a startup that fizzled out prematurely.
  • Sector and business under-coverage. Because there are so many companies out there, most private company data aggregators focus on a particular subset of companies, industries or transaction types, which necessarily limits the scope of its coverage. A dataset built around venture capital deals is therefore likely to have a fairly comprehensive record of high-growth technology and life sciences companies and the transactions they’re involved in. Small, local businesses and sole proprietorships might be underrepresented in such a dataset.
  • Geographic under-coverage. While Crunchbase strives to be as comprehensive and geographically uniform as possible, it’s likely that as a U.S.-based company, its data quality and comprehensiveness are skewed to favor the U.S., which is by far the largest venture capital market in the world. It’s generally believed that Crunchbase’s private company data for the rest of North America and for Europe is quite thorough as well. While constantly being improved and added to, data for companies in other parts of the world is likely somewhat less comprehensive.

➡️ Read more about how to contribute data to Crunchbase.

How We Use And Define Industry And Industry Groups 

The Crunchbase News team will often base its analysis of various sectors on one or more industries and/or industry groups defined by Crunchbase

However, we may augment these lists by including companies that use related keywords in their descriptions.

For example, in coverage about the cannabis industry, we may start with the set of companies in Crunchbase’s cannabis industry, but also include companies that use terms like “cannabinoids,” “cannabis extracts,” and “cannabidiol” in their descriptions.

We do this to ensure we’re deriving as complete a survey as possible of a given sector. Whether a company or investor is included in a given analysis is ultimately at the reporter’s discretion, but we disclose all significant inclusions and exemptions.

How We Use And Define VC Investment Stages

These are the types of funding events that are collectively referred to as “venture” rounds.

In the reports we produce at the end of each quarter, we use the following heuristics for categorizing funding rounds by stage:

  • Angel: An angel round is typically a small round designed to get a new company off the ground. Investors in an angel round include individual angel investors, angel investor groups, friends and family.
  • Pre-seed: A pre-seed round is a small seed funding, often below $1 million. Accelerator rounds below $1 million fit into this funding stage. 
  • Seed: Seed rounds are among the first rounds of funding a company will receive, generally while it is young and working to gain traction. Round sizes typically range between $1 million and $3 million, though larger seed rounds have become more common in recent years. A seed round typically comes after an angel round (if applicable) and before a company’s Series A round.
  • Series A and Series B: These are funding rounds for earlier-stage companies and range on average between $5 million and $30 million.
  • Series C and onward: For later-stage and more-established companies, these rounds are usually at least $20 million, but are often much larger.

Other sources of private-company funding include private equity or growth funding, debt financing and crowdfunding. 

We do not count private equity rounds in non-venture-backed startups, undisclosed funding rounds, secondary market transactions, post-IPO transactions, debt financings, grants, non-equity assistance or ICOs as venture funding rounds. 

Crunchbase excludes “funding rounds,” which typically are investments in companies not part of the technology ecosystem.

Note that the “funding stage” definitions Crunchbase News uses for different funding stages is expansive by design.

➡️ Read more about the different types of funding rounds and how they are classified in Crunchbase.

Currencies And Conversions

In most articles, funding values are given in U.S. dollars unless otherwise noted. Crunchbase converts foreign currencies to U.S. dollars at the prevailing spot rate from the date funding rounds, acquisitions, IPOs and other financial events are reported. Even if those events were added to Crunchbase long after the event was announced, foreign currency transactions are converted at the historic spot price.

External Data Sources

Occasionally, we use data for a story that isn’t tracked by Crunchbase. In these cases, we rely on external, authoritative data and information sources. These sources include quarterly and annual financial reporting by public companies and regulatory filings. 

How We Do Data Analysis And Visualization

Data Analysis And Processing: The tools we use for analysis include:

  • Crunchbase Pro to visualize company and funding data.
  • SQL to query our dataset for large data counts.
  • We use Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets for filtering, sorting and viewing tabular data exported from Crunchbase. We also use these tools to make the majority of the pivot tables behind the charts and graphs in Crunchbase News articles. These tools are helpful to capture data at a moment in time and compare data changes and shifts as we report on funding trends.

Data Visualization: We primarily use Infogram to create the interactive charts and graphs you see in our articles.

Further Reading

The Crunchbase Knowledge Center contains troves of information on how to use Crunchbase, glossaries of common terms and more. Below are some of the pages Crunchbase News readers may find most useful.

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