Top Tools for Competitive Analysis

Any financial analysis is incomplete without taking into consideration an industry’s competitive landscape.  Afterall, data is relative and should be used to help frame the total picture. We do a lot of competitive analysis here at Venture First, and we’d like to use this post to focus on some of our favorite tools in doing so.

Despite it being on the pricier end, we consider this to be the best and one we use daily.  Pitchbook launched in 2009 and tracks every aspect of the public and private markets, but namely is the go to for all Venture Capital, Private Equity, and M&A details. And while sometimes spotty, it is the best source for private company valuations.  The site is also a great tool to identify investors of your competitor companies which can help you better understand reasonable profiles of investors to approach (and those you shouldn’t!).

CrunchBase.  Our second favorite tool is CrunchBase, it features over 600,000 active community contributors and over 5 million users each month.  In addition, CrunchBase partners with over 4,000 venture capital firms that submit monthly portfolio updates. The data may not be as good as our #1, but its affordability more than compensates for this.  It also features a more comprehensive bank of non-financial information such as team members, social media, events, etc.

Owler.  A much lesser known but nonetheless powerful tool with an interesting approach.  Owler crowdsources a lot of its data, allowing end users submit data such as expected revenue and having the community vote yay/nay on data points effectively validating entries. It might seem whimsical to crowdsource financials, but the collective intelligence of its user base has proven to be surprisingly accurate. Owler is incredibly easy to use, simply type a company name and a dashboard will show you their estimated revenue, funds raised, team, etc and then give a list of competitors.  This is the best way to understand a rough guess of where your revenue comp is.

S&P CapIQ. When it comes to data accuracy, S&P’s IQ platform is king. The platform is focused on public markets, as private market numbers are more speculative and self-reported in nature. The platform is a favorite amongst our valuation department when producing defensible reports that can hold up under even the heaviest of scrutinies. Sadly, it’s the loser of the pack when it comes to having a user-friendly interface, but it more than makes up for that with individualized assistance from their representatives.

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