How to Find Private Company Data

For entrepreneurs, investors, researchers, analysts and dealmakers, access to private company data is a critical part of the job. Private companies represent a significant portion of the global economy, driving innovation, job creation and economic growth. But because their financial information and other information aren’t readily available, it can be challenging to find these details with a simple online search.

In this comprehensive guide, we explore the significance and applications of private company data across various industries and sectors. Most importantly, we’ll show you how to uncover this data so you know exactly where to go the next time you need it.

What is private company data?

Private companies are entities that are owned, operated and controlled by private individuals, partnerships or groups of investors. Unlike public companies, which offer shares of stock to the general public and are listed on stock exchanges, private companies do not trade shares on public markets. Instead, ownership of private companies is typically limited to a small group of founders, investors and employees.

Private company data refers to financial and operational information about these non-publicly traded entities. It encompasses a wide range of metrics, including revenue, geographic location, headcount, market share, tech stack and growth projections. This data is essential for professionals seeking insights about companies and the market, but it’s challenging to uncover for several reasons:

  • Limited disclosure requirements: Private companies are not required to disclose detailed financial statements or operational metrics to external stakeholders.
  • Confidentiality concerns: Private companies often prioritize confidentiality and may be hesitant to share sensitive information with the public or competitors. 
  • Lack of standardized reporting: Unlike public companies, which adhere to standardized accounting principles and reporting practices, private companies have greater flexibility in how they present financial information. This makes it difficult to analyze and compare their performance.
  • Restricted access: Access to private company data may be limited to shareholders, executives, lenders, business partners and certain accredited investors.

Where to find private company data and financials

That said, finding company data isn’t impossible; you just need to know where to look. There’s a range of private company data providers, tools and other resources, including:

  • Proprietary research tools like Crunchbase
  • News outlets
  • Press releases
  • Industry associations
  • Trade publications and journals
  • Academic research and case studies
  • Networking and industry events
  • Social media

Let’s dive into some of the specific places you can find the company information you need.

Private company data resources and tools

1. Crunchbase

Crunchbase is an AI-powered data platform that offers comprehensive information on both private and public companies, including company financials, funding rounds and industry trends. With its in-depth data and AI-driven company insights, Crunchbase provides detailed profiles, growth signals, news updates and analysis for millions of companies worldwide.

Private company data: Company profile on Crunchbase

2. PrivCo

PrivCo is a specialized business intelligence platform focused on private company research and analysis. It offers in-depth profiles, financial data, ownership information and news updates for privately held companies across various industries. PrivCo’s data and research tools provide valuable insights for investors, analysts and corporate strategists. Plus, PrivCo data can be added to Crunchbase so you can get the best of both tools on a single platform.

3. BuiltWith

By analyzing the technologies and software solutions used by a company’s website, BuiltWith offers valuable intelligence on its tech stack and strategic investments. This lets you track tech adoption trends and identify which companies use products that compete with or complement your solution. Like PrivCo, you can add BuiltWith data to Crunchbase.

4. Harvard Business Review

Harvard Business Review is a renowned management magazine that publishes articles, case studies and research on leadership, strategy, innovation and organizational behavior. HBR’s articles and research – particularly its case studies section – provide valuable perspectives on industry trends that private companies can leverage for decision-making and performance improvement. 

5. Business Wire

Business Wire is a global news distribution service that disseminates press releases and multimedia content from companies, organizations and PR agencies. It delivers timely updates and real-time news alerts to subscribers, keeping them informed about the latest developments and announcements from private companies, whether it’s a new product launch, partnership agreement or other milestone. 

6. Forbes

Forbes, a prominent business magazine and media platform, is a reputable resource for private company financials and analysis through its coverage of entrepreneurship, industry trends and company profiles. Forbes shares insights into private companies’ innovations, leadership strategies and financial performance through features, lists and expert analysis, offering information about private company operations, market dynamics and industry. 

Private company data is a versatile resource across different industries and business functions. Typically, it’s used by professionals for important tasks such as: 

1. Market research and competitive analysis

Private company data provides valuable insights into market dynamics, competitor landscapes and industry trends. Businesses can analyze private companies’ product offerings, pricing strategies and market positioning to identify opportunities for differentiation and competitive advantage.

2. Investment due diligence

Investors, venture capitalists and private equity firms rely on private company data to evaluate investment opportunities, assess financial performance and mitigate risks. Private company data helps investors understand market trends, industry disruptions and growth potential, guiding investment decisions and portfolio management strategies. In fact, investors use this data to find the most promising startups and the latest unicorns.

3. Sales prospecting and lead generation

Sales teams use private company data sources to identify prospective clients, qualify leads and prioritize sales opportunities. By analyzing private companies’ industry and size, funding, leadership team and more, sales professionals can tailor their outreach efforts and engagement strategies to resonate with potential customers’ needs and interests. They can also use private company data to identify signs of company health, such as recent funding (see these recently funded startups) or, on the flip side, layoffs (see the layoffs tracker).

4. Product development and innovation

Product teams leverage private company databases to understand market gaps, customer preferences and emerging trends. This helps them identify opportunities for product enhancements and new features that address customers’ evolving needs and preferences.

5. Partnership and collaboration opportunities

Private company data enables businesses to identify potential partners, suppliers and collaborators within their ecosystems. By analyzing private companies’ capabilities, market presence and strategic objectives, organizations can forge partnerships that drive innovation, expand market reach and create value for stakeholders.

6. Mergers and acquisitions

Private company data and financials are essential for conducting M&A transactions, strategic alliances and corporate integrations. Acquirers use private company information to assess target companies’ financial health, operational performance, intellectual property assets and market positioning, facilitating informed decision-making and negotiation processes.

7. CRM enrichment

Private company data enriches CRM databases and customer profiles with valuable information about prospective B2B customers. Sales teams leverage this data to understand their prospects’ industries, potential for growth and purchasing power, enabling them to tailor their sales pitches, proposals and solutions effectively. In fact, Crunchbase’s robust data set can be connected directly to the Salesforce, HubSpot and sales CRMs for quick, automatic data enrichment.

8. Strategic planning and decision-making

Private company data informs strategic planning, resource allocation and decision-making processes within organizations. Executives and business leaders use private company data to assess market opportunities, set performance targets and formulate growth strategies that align with the company’s objectives and competitive landscape.

What you get with Crunchbase company data

As we mentioned above, Crunchbase is the leading platform for private company data. With Crunchbase, you’ll get:

  • Trusted, first-party funding, acquisitions and revenue data so you can see which companies are dominating the market
  • Up-to-date firmographics and news so you’re the first to know about industry trends
  • Key signals that show you companies with buying power
  • AI-driven recommendations that fit your target audience and goals
  • Verified contact details of key decision-makers for accurate, strategic outreach

Ready to unlock this data? Sign up for a Crunchbase account.

  • Originally published March 25, 2024