[Update: CrunchBase could look for outside investors and potentially spin out of AOL, but it's not literally for sale.]
Getting the caveats out of the way first, my name’s Jon and I work for CrunchBase and write for TechCrunch every once in a while (so… you know… awkward).
Since I’m the one querying the CrunchBase dataset every day or so, they wanted me to write this post and here we are.
If there’s one thing to take away from the conversation CrunchBase co-founders Mike Arrington and current President Matt Kaufman had on stage, it’s that if venture investors want to make a bid for the company — they can feel free.
In some ways, the two executives think that CrunchBase is actually worth more than TechCrunch (not sure I agree). It is, at any rate, the go-to free source for venture investment data and data about pretty much any venture-backed startup business.
When it started, CrunchBase was a data repository for all the data that was coming out of TechCrunch copy. In its early days, the copy was almost an afterthought for folks who were more focused on building an 800-pound blogging gorilla covering all things tech and venture.
Now, CrunchBase can include all sorts of data about a company’s financing, its employees, and the significant events that have shaped it — all curated by the companies and executives themselves with a little soupcon of editorial overlay. “It could be a company’s entire history,” Kaufman says.
Apparently the CrunchBase executives have a vast vision and Kaufman says, “it’s going to require a lot of resources to build.” That may mean new backers, if Arrington’s very-unsubtle intimations are to be believed.
So.. the elephant in the room… Is CrunchBase more valuable than TechCrunch? Kaufman says yes. And the company operates as startup within AOL (the owner of TechCrunch, CrunchBase and a whole mess of other things).
The vision goes beyond simply serving basic data or a company biography. In the future, Kaufman envisions a CrunchBase “that allows people to ask questions and get answers.”
In contrast with other professional networking services that make a lot of money, CrunchBase currently is generating revenues of around $2 million, Kaufman says — and they’re entirely focused on growing that business.
So is CrunchBase for sale? Kaufman’s staying mum. “I’m hoping that CrunchBase can grow into the vision we have for it,” he says.
Meanwhile, Arrington thinks it should be. “I always thought CrunchBase was worth more than TechCrunch,” from a certain angle, Arrington says.
But as a potential investor? His valuation may tell a different story. “I think it’s worth a few hundred thousand dollars,” Arrington joked.