If startup data is the new oil, who is the China version of Crunchbase?

In the west, Crunchbase is the first destination for many to check out the startup information. No doubt of that.  And if you have the budget, then Mattermark, Pitchbook, CBinsights also jump naturally onto your head.

Not many local&tiny startups in China will bother making their mark in Crunchbase. But China has a string of its own version of Crunchbase to record them. In fact, the startup database business has been kinda mushrooming.  We can come up a list just at our fingertips, and by no means of exhausting every player in the sector.

 

Name Launch Time Brief Background Link
Pedata 2001 Powered by Zero2IPO, China’s leading investment research and integrated service provider for venture capital and private equity http://www.pedata.cn/
ITJUZI 2013 A startup data company coupled with media and event services http://radar.itjuzi.com/
InnoTree 2014 An independent startup data company with an edge of applying artificial intelligence for analysis https://www.innotree.cn/
Welian 2014 Database plus value added service of networking and fundraising between investors and startups http://www.welian.com/
InduChain 2014 A comprehensive company database applying artificial intelligence analysis http://zhidaoii.com/
*Tianyancha 2016 A due diligence and investigation tool for company registration information (but the platform is only accessible inside China) https://www.tianyancha.com/
JingData 2017 Powered by a leading tech media platform 36kr, a startup database that enables efficient investment decision-making
https://www.jingdata.com/#/org

 

 

There is no sense of “The Crunchbase” in China; rather the market is fragmented. We can have incumbents powered by traditional investment research firm or technology media platform. Recently we see upstart claiming its expertise in applying artificial intelligence for analysis. Few even adds extra service fees on helping startup raising money from investors. Most business models work on partially freemium to attract news users; so if users get intrigued, then time to entice them for the subscription. As we can see a typical example from Tianyancha:

The freemium content from Tianyancha actually can be found on China AIC(Administration for Industry and Commerce), but in stead of searching through different AIC website for each province/administrative regions, Tianyancha simply aggregates every thing together for the sake of user convenience.

 

In terms of comprehensiveness or accuracy, these companies seem to be more or less on the equal footing, albeit probably with a slightly different business offer and focus. Some startup database companies are essentially startup by themselves. For instance,

  • Innotree just raised USD15 million in the B round
  • Welian announced USD4.2 million of Series A
  • Tianyancha received USD18 million, Series A

All happened either last year or this year.

So the race of a front runner is still on. If ever being asked who is the ultimate China version of Crunchbase, the answer, for now, is “quite a few”.

Author: Cecilia Wu