At a Glance

Crunchbase

Best for: Identifying decision-makers and key contacts for outbound sales, sourcing deals, and overall business outreach

Crunchbase is a professional and business platform used by over 75 million people worldwide as a comprehensive database for information about businesses and startups. As part of its intelligence offering, Crunchbase offers details on companies including:

  • Company Profiles: Include deep company details, such as the founding date, company location, key management personnel, funding history, and a brief overview of their products or services
  • Funding Data: Data collected by Crunchbase about a company’s funding rounds, information about key investors and investment amounts, and their dates.
  • Marketplace Insights: Provide insights into a company’s market trends and help users identify popular technologies, areas of innovation and emerging opportunities. Entrepreneurs, investors, and analysts may find this feature particularly useful.
  • Search and Discovery:  Offers a search engine for specific companies, investors, or industry sectors. Researchers can use Crunchbase for discovery and research, as well as due diligence.
  • Investor and Funding Connections: Works as a networking platform, connecting various users with potential investors, and investors with potentially rewarding investment opportunities.
  • Crunchbase Pro: Premium subscription service, which provides additional features and advanced search capabilities for users who require more in-depth information.

Crunchbase does have several shortcomings as a marketing automation and intelligence platform. First, it lacks advanced search capabilities and features such as synonym recognition, machine learning, and natural language processing features. Its content sets are also limited and lack expert calls, earnings transcripts, or brokerage reports—all of which are necessary to gain a holistic overview of a company, industry, or market.

Moreover, users have complained about duplicate entry issues, accuracy problems due to user and company self-submitted data, and outdated information in the platform. 

Crunchbase is a great tool for entrepreneurs, investors, salespeople and market researchers looking to prospect for new business opportunities, as it can provide in-depth company overviews and organization charts. However, it is less well-suited for enterprise users and organizations looking for in-depth research insights into companies and markets.

Crunchbase Strengths

  • Provides valuable data for sales prospecting
  • Ability to easily export the data using API
  • Ability to filter by several categories including stage and location
  • User-friendly interface

Crunchbase Weaknesses

  • Alert fatigue can be a problem
  • Recurring issues with data accuracy and recency
  • Duplicate entries are a recurring problem
  • CRM integration may not be seamless
  • Lacks machine learning and natural language processing capabilities
  • Database is not comprehensive, especially for private companies 
  • No advanced search capabilities such as synonym recognition
  • Lack of additional content sources like expert calls, earnings transcripts, ESG reports, and brokerage reports

Top Crunchbase Alternatives 

AlphaSense

Best for: Conducting comprehensive qualitative market research and analysis with advanced AI features for added speed, accuracy, and scope

AlphaSense is a secure, all-in-one market intelligence and AI search platform designed for robust financial and market research. This tool is tailored for firms looking to speed up their research processes, elevate productivity, and secure a competitive advantage through AI and automation.

Regarded consistently as an industry leader by TrustRadius and G2, AlphaSense has also gained further recognition across the market. In 2023 Forbes acknowledged it as one of the top 50 AI companies of the year. 

AlphaSense uses a unified approach, enabling users to extract valuable insights and intelligence from valuable internal and external resources. This is made possible using AI which consolidates all these capabilities within a singular, user-friendly platform.

Extensive Out-of-the-Box Content Library

AlphaSense boasts of an expansive repository of external market intelligence and research, that features over 10,000 private, public, premium, and proprietary data sources. Our platform ensures you have swift access to insights and intelligence on all topics and companies shaping your market landscape, making your team’s information retrieval process more efficient.

External content sources used by AlphaSense include news and trade journals, and company documents, including SEC filings and global submissions. Beyond these conventional sources, AlphaSense further enhances user access by providing two exclusive premium content offerings. These offerings are:

  • Expert Insights – 35,000+ expert transcripts featuring one-on-one calls with competitors, customers, professionals, industry experts, and former and current executives. You can also request bespoke 1:1 expert calls for less.
  • Wall Street Insights® – A collection of broker research from Wall Street’s leading firms, covering global sector themes, industries, and companies from 1,000+ sell-side and independent firms, available within the AlphaSense platform. Research professionals can even preview the contents of a broker report, saving them wasted time and money on potentially fruitless research.

Tailored for enterprise-level organizations, AlphaSense offers the capability to upload, index, and search through proprietary content using our smart search technology. That includes:

  • Internal research, notes, and presentations
  • Newsletters, web pages, and RSS feeds
  • Meeting and conference notes
  • Reports from industry and market intelligence providers

AI Search & Summarization Technology

AlphaSense comes with the following industry-leading AI capabilities:

Sentiment Analysis

investor relations strategy sentiment analysis

Sentiment analysis is a natural language processing (NLP)—based feature which scans through your search results and identifies tonal and subjective nuances that influence the meaning of text. Using color coding, helps readers identify positive, negative, and neutral sentiments within the document.

Moreover, each search term receives a numerical sentiment change score, that tracks any slight change in market sentiments across time. Using these historical change scores, AlphaSense users can make better-informed decisions, improve their market positions and adapt their risk management strategies to market conditions. 

Smart Synonyms™

Smart synonyms product

Smart Synonyms™, proprietary to AlphaSense, is a feature that uses AI to identify the keywords used and search intent behind any query. 

Using advanced algorithms, Smart Synonyms eliminates noise and unwanted results from your search (i.e., content with matching keywords but ultimately irrelevant to your search objective), using unique language variations to pinpoint the exact information needed. 

Generative AI

smart summaries for companies

AlphaSense uses an industry-leading suite of generative AI (genAI) tools tailored to deliver business-grade insights to you and your company. Unlike other consumer-grade generative AI tools trained on publicly available data, AlphaSense takes an entirely different approach that leans on 10+ years of AI tech development.

Our tools are trained specifically on business and financial data.

Because of this, the proprietary AlphaSense Large Language Model (ASLLM), matches or beats all top third-party LLMs over 90% of the time. 

Our suite of tools currently includes:

  • Enterprise Intelligence – a first-of-its-kind offering that delivers AlphaSense’s AI-powered search and summarization capabilities to customers’ internal organizational knowledge.
  • Smart Summaries – this feature allows you to glean instant earnings insights—reducing time spent on research during earnings season, quickly capturing company outlook, and generating an expert-approved SWOT analysis straight from former competitors, partners, and employees
  • AlphaSense Assistant (in beta) – a generative AI chat experience that transforms how users can extract insights from hundreds of millions of premium content sources 

Integration Capabilities

Top-tier companies may often fall into the trap of building silos, monolithic tools that only work within fixed ecosystems. But, at AlphaSense,  we recognize the importance of creating collaborative tools that integrate with other organizational software solutions.

Seamlessly Integrate with Other Tools

AlphaSense is engineered to work seamlessly with apps and tools already used within your organization. This can help you improve productivity with reduced effort. For instance, AlphaSense connects with integrations to Sharepoint, OneNote, or Box, and you can also leverage our API suite to securely upload your proprietary content.

APIs

API capabilities offered by AlphaSense can enable you to build in-house tools for maximum ROI from the content sources you can now access. For example, AlphaSense offers the following APIs to access our proprietary technology and content across other parts of your strategies:

  • Search API: Provides real-time, programmatic access to AlphaSense search infrastructure for queries and filtering the database of documents from third-party domains.
  • Alert Feed API: Real-time data feed based on saved searches & alerts.
  • Ingestion API: Integration, processing, and enrichment capabilities for internal or custom content sets.
  • AI API: Enrichment capabilities that enable company recognition, sentiment, themes and KPI services for internal content.

Monitoring, Analysis, and Collaboration Tools

AlphaSense is designed to help users find insights faster. To do that, we offer several tools that extend beyond search and summarization to help users accelerate research tasks.  

  • Customizable Dashboards create a centralized information hub for monitoring key companies and themes, while tailored real-time alerts provide real-time updates.
  • Smart Alerts monitor the most important themes, companies, and market updates with weekly, daily, or real-time alerts.
  • Notebook+ and commenting features increase collaboration and help teams manage and share insights more effectively. Notebook+ also includes templates that streamline the process of creating deliverables, as well as folders for better content organization and retrieval.
  • Table Tools allow you to streamline your quantitative analysis by enabling you to export modelled time-series data on company financials.
  • Image Search allows you to discover insights buried in charts to quickly capture data without reading through pages of documents.
  • Snippet Explorer allows you to effortlessly look at any topic or theme and all its historical mentions in a single view.
  • Our Black-lining feature allows you to automatically identify any QoQ changes in SEC filings
  • Automated Monitoring allows you to set up real-time alerts that send instant updates on any relevant market movements, news, emerging trends, and competitor activities. We also generate snapshots of companies and topics regularly that keep you ahead of the curve with actionable insights.

AlphaSense Pros

  • Extensive content universe that spans the four key perspectives, including broker research, expert calls, company documents, news & regulatory sites.
  • Incorporates AI search technology, machine learning, and sentiment analysis
  • Generative AI features, like Smart Summaries, for earnings and image search
  • Automated and customizable alerts
  • All-in-one research platform
  • User-friendly interface
  • Internal messaging and collaboration features
  • Support for APIs and integrations
  • Supports enterprise-level organizations and teams
  • Enterprise-grade data production complying with global security standards
  • Excellent customer support team, including 24/7 chat with product specialists, a live Help button on the website, and regular live AlphaSense Education webinars

AlphaSense Cons

  • Visualization tools are limited at this time
  • Collaboration tools are limited to users with AlphaSense licenses

PitchBook

Best for: Private market financial data for deal sourcing, fundraising, and due diligence

PitchBook is another award-winning research platform with a massive database of content on private equity, venture capital, and M&A. Since its inception, Pitchbook has over 70,000 individual users within its client base. 

Its cutting-edge private market database, reporting, and data visualization are ideal tools for professionals in finance, investments, and sales. Pitchbook’s in-depth insights cover over 3.5 million private and public companies worldwide, including financial histories, valuations, executives, and investors. 

Much like AlphaSense, PitchBook maintains an ever-expanding library of records and facts from millions of business deals worldwide, involving more than 110,000 funds and over 450,000 investors.

If you’re looking for business intelligence, venture capital, prospecting, deal sourcing, or private market intelligence, PitchBook is an excellent selection. It may also be useful for performing due diligence on startups, fundraising, networking, benchmarking competitors, and allocating different assets across your investment portfolio. 

While PitchBook offers numerous advantages, it also has its limitations, such as breadth of available content, no ability for users to upload their internal content, and lack of advanced AI search functionality for enhancing and speeding up research.

Related Reading: PitchBook vs Crunchbase

PitchBook Alternatives

PitchBook vs CB Insights

AlphaSense vs. PitchBook

PitchBook Pros

  • Pitchbook offers a broad range of information, including company patents, financial analysis, data on current and previous company investors, and more. 
  • Has advanced search filters that give investors deep insights into companies
  • Proprietary “Emerging spaces” feature caters to investors seeking to capitalize on new and alternative markets
  • Highly customizable, allowing users to create custom alerts and monitor their dashboard for news updates
  • Pitchbook supports integrations with third-party applications, allowing for further customization and convenience

PitchBook Cons

  • Much better suited to financial services; lacks key features for corporate users
  • Lacks access to an expert call library 
  • Limited access to earning transcripts and no SEC or global filings
  • No advanced AI search functionality or synonym recognition
  • Sentiment analysis feature limited to stocks
  • Users cannot upload internal content to the platform
  • No broker research or aftermarket research. Equity research is an additional charge of $5k + 500 Per User and is mostly for private companies
  • Often receives criticism about data accuracy and recency 
  • ESG reports created in house  

CB Insights

Best for: Institutional and enterprise-grade users who need to monitor existing and emerging market trends and key players, particularly in the tech sector

Founded in 2008, CB Insights is a market intelligence platform with a massive database for users seeking technology insights and analyses on companies, private capital, and angel investments. This platform is used to support company monitoring, opportunity discovery and forecasting, and vendor research and evaluation—primarily for the technology markets. 

It also provides insights into companies’ latest funding rounds, venture capital, proprietary company data, business relationships, patent analytics, earnings transcripts, and more. This data is primarily acquired through machine learning and analyst briefings, a feature unique to CB Insights.

Using machine learning and data analysis, CB Insights provides users with a wealth of information regarding emerging industries, market trends, and investment opportunities. Through its platform, users can perform the following tasks:

  1. Company Tracking: Gain comprehensive insights into private companies, tracking their activities, growth trajectories, and technological strategies.
  2. Investor Monitoring: Stay informed about investors’ activities, identifying key players and understanding their investment patterns.
  3. Industry Analysis: Access in-depth analyses of industries, leveraging data-driven insights to understand market dynamics and emerging trends.
  4. Technology Utilization: Explore how companies leverage technology, providing a nuanced understanding of technological adoption across various sectors.

CB Insights also provides up-to-date research that helps users understand competitor strategy, keep up with future trends, and make better investment decisions.

CB Insights Pros:

  • Excellent platform for identifying new opportunities in the technology space
  • Access to private company information, including partnerships and valuation
  • Access to in-depth data and research analytics
  • Supports APIs and integrations 
  • Uses machine learning and analyst briefings to collect data on companies

CB Insights Cons:

  • Leans toward technology market use cases; lack of breadth and depth in other markets
  • Pricing necessitates having a team of five members with no flexibility for smaller teams
  • Focuses primarily on private tech companies, ignoring public companies unless they partner with startups
  • No access to global/SEC filings, ESG reports, newspapers, trade journals, expert calls, or broker research
  • No smart search functionality
  • Not suitable for small-scale firms

D&B Hoovers

Best for: Helping sales teams spend less time prospecting and more time closing sales

D&B Hoovers is an award-winning B2B sales intelligence platform by Dun & Bradstreet (D&B), a renowned commercial data and analytics provider. D&B Hoovers provides large and small businesses with deep and rich contact data to help sales teams gain insights that help them spend less time prospecting and more time closing sales.

The following are key features and aspects of D&B Hoovers:

  • Company Information: D&B Hoovers offers detailed information on millions of companies worldwide, giving users access to data on company profiles, financials, key executives, and other relevant details.
  • Contact Information: Users can access the contact details of key decision-makers within companies, enhancing their outreach and networking opportunities.
  • Industry Reports: D&B Hoovers also offers industry reports, market research, and analysis, keeping users informed on trends and developments within sectors of interest.
  • Financial Data: D&B Hoovers gives users access to company financial data, including income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements. That way they can do better financial analysis and improve decision-making.
  • News and Insights: The platform also aggregates news and insights on companies, industries, and markets, keeping users updated on all relevant information.
  • Integration with CRM Systems: D&B Hoovers supports API integration with other systems ( like Salesforce, Zapier, and HubSpot ), enhancing sales and marketing efficiency in your company.
  • Advanced Search and Filtering: The platform offers advanced search and filtering options, enabling users to tailor their searches based on specific criteria.
  • Alerts and Notifications: Users can set up alerts and notifications for changes or developments related to companies they are monitoring.

D&B Hoovers is widely used by sales and marketing professionals, business analysts, and decision-makers who rely on comprehensive business data for strategic planning, lead generation, and market analysis. 

D&B Hoovers Pros

  • Great sales and marketing platform platform for finding new prospects and sales opportunities 
  • Provides access to key contact information on millions of companies worldwide
  • Has access to financial data and reports on multiple companies
  • Supports APIs and integrations with other apps

D&B Hoovers Cons

  • No AI features integrated in the platform
  • No access to proprietary data sources
  • No access to global/SEC filings, ESG reports, newspapers, trade journals, expert calls, or broker research
  • No smart synonym search functionality

UpLead

Best for: Generating pre-qualified leads and building custom contact lists

UpLead is a B2B contact database and lead generation SaaS businesses used to create custom contact lists and pre-qualify leads for account-based marketing. This sales intelligence platform comes with data enrichment features that help your team build a list of prospects and qualify them based on multiple criteria.

Using UpLead’s Prospector feature, users can search through more than 108 million contacts and find accurate details on all their potential clients. This feature covers more than 200 countries with a 95% guarantee.

If you have incomplete information about a prospect, UpLead can help you enrich your data with more emails and contact details, resulting in a higher success rate upon reaching out to them. Data enrichment is ideal for prequalifying leads based on company size, location, revenue, sales, and industry. 

You can also use UpLead’s Technographic feature to prequalify leads based on the technologies they use. UpLead tracks both web and mobile technologies, keeping tabs on more than 16,000 different data points.

Users can also verify multiple email addresses using UpLead. This tool can help you determine the validity of an email address in real-time, ensuring its accuracy and reducing bounce rates.

But unlike any of the platforms mentioned above, UpLead only collects and delivers contact information. It offers no competitive intelligence data, company filings, research, or expert calls. 

UpLead Pros:

  • Access to high-quality contact details
  • Generates massive lists of viable leads for different types of marketing campaigns
  • Access to accurate company information
  • Supports multiple integrations, APIs, and a Chrome extension.
  • Can enrich your existing contacts with more information

UpLead Cons:

  • Has multiple search filters but no AI smart synonyms search
  • No access to research data or insights beyond contact details and basic company information
  • Lacks competitive intelligence data
  • No expert calls, broker research, news, or advanced company information
  • Focuses solely on generating leads, with limited coverage on other topics
  • Some data may be outdated 

Demandbase

Best for: Lead qualification and account-based marketing

Demandbase is an account-based marketing tool that enables users to create, target, and manage new audiences. Sellers, marketers, and customer success professionals use Demandbase for advertising, sales intelligence, and market analytics.

In recent years, Demandbase has also integrated the use of AI in its platform to help users streamline the qualification process and engage prospects better to improve sales.

Demandbase has two key products:

  • The Go-To-Market platform helps users identify opportunities faster and make informed sales decisions for ABM, B2B advertising sales intelligence, and data
  • Account Intelligence combines data from multiple sources and AI to make smarter business decisions. This includes account identification, technographics, intent, and first-party contact information from companies and businesses.

Demandbase Pros:

  • Offers access to high-quality contact and prospecting details
  • Has useful tools for qualifying leads 
  • Uses AI to improve its search capabilities and streamline workflows
  • Supports multiple integrations
  • Offers access to intent information
  • Has an intuitive interface

Demandbase Cons:

  • Offers limited coverage on other topics outside account-based marketing
  • Some contact-level data points may be incomplete or insufficient
  • Data export and API connections can be costly
  • AI is not as robust as other tools
  • Alerts may not be instant

Bombora

Best for: Tracking content engagement across social media and web, as well as finding prospects

Bombora is a business-to-business (B2B) data and analytics company that provides its users with insights into online content consumption patterns. This platform enhances a user’s ability to  understand and track intent signals of businesses by analyzing their content engagement across social media and the web.

This platform can also work as an ecommerce Sales Intelligence and Revenue Accelerator, using intent data to help users find ideal prospects for their users.

Bombora’s features include:

  • Intent Data: Bombora is known for its intent data solutions. It collects and analyzes data related to the online content consumption behavior of businesses and professionals. It also identifies signals that indicate potential interest or intent to purchase specific products or services.
  • Company Surge®:  A Bombora product businesses use to identify accounts showing increased online activity in specific topics related to their products or services. Sales and marketing teams can use this tool to target companies actively researching or considering relevant solutions.
  • B2B Data Cooperative: Bombora operates a B2B Data Cooperative, where participating publishers and platforms contribute data about the content consumption behavior of their audiences. This aggregated data is then used to create insights and identify trends in B2B buyer behavior.
  • Integration with Marketing and Sales Platforms: Bombora’s data and insights can be integrated into various marketing and sales platforms to enhance targeting, personalization, and lead generation efforts. This integration allows businesses to leverage intent data within their existing workflows.

This platform is not suitable for enterprise market intelligence, as it lacks the proprietary content sets and AI search capabilities that enable a holistic overview of companies, industries, trends, and markets.

Bombora Pros

  • Excellent tool for identifying purchase intent of a business
  • Enhanced tools for market research
  • Supports the collaborative collection of market data
  • Ideal for prospect targeting

Bombora Cons

  • No access to proprietary data sources
  • No access to global/SEC filings, ESG reports, newspapers, trade journals, expert calls, or broker research
  • No AI features integrated in the platform
  • No smart synonym search functionality

Owler

Best for: Prospecting new clients, nurturing client relationships, and account-based marketing

Owler is a sales intelligence, business information and insights platform that focuses on providing real-time news, alerts, and competitive intelligence about companies. 

The following are key aspects of Owler:

  • Company Profiles: Maintains profiles for millions of companies, offering basic information, key executives, and relevant news updates. 
  • News and Alerts: Aggregates news and updates about companies from various sources, providing users with real-time information on industry trends, mergers and acquisitions, and other relevant events.
  • Competitor Tracking: Provides insights into competitor activities, helping businesses stay informed about their industry landscape.
  • Community Contributions: Allows its community of users to contribute information and insights about companies, which helps in building a dynamic and updated database of business information.
  • Competitive Insights: Offers competitive intelligence tools, allowing users to compare their company’s performance, market presence, and other metrics against industry peers.
  • Customized Alerts: Allows users to set up customized alerts to receive notifications about specific events or changes related to the companies they are monitoring.

Owler Pros

  • Access to real-time news and updates
  • Ideal for competitor tracking and intelligence
  • Supports crowdsourced data
  • Supports community contributions
  • Maintains a database of millions of companies and company contact data

Owler Cons

  • No access to proprietary data sources
  • No access to global/SEC filings, ESG reports, newspapers, trade journals, expert calls, or broker research
  • No AI features integrated in the platform
  • No smart synonym search functionality

How to Choose an Alternative to Crunchbase

Crunchbase is an excellent option for users looking for prospecting and business intelligence solutions. But if you are an enterprise user or someone looking for deeper, more comprehensive market intelligence, it may not suit your needs. When choosing the right tool for you, consider the following criteria: 

  • Data coverage: Crunchbase offers a wide coverage of business intelligence and research. Platforms like AlphaSense offer even more data coverage than Crunchbase, while others like Uplead are severely limited. Ensure your chosen provider has access to markets you’re interested in and has comprehensive data coverage for those areas.
  • Data quality: Find a platform with accurate, up-to-date, and reliable data. Duplicate or outdated data, like that found on Crunchbase, may affect your ability to compete in an ever-changing market. 
  • Pricing: Choose a platform that offers plans within your budget limits or flexible subscriptions. Also, consider which platform will give you the biggest ROI—check out our ROI calculator for additional context. 
  • User interface and user experience: Ensure you opt for a navigable platform with a user-friendly interface that can filter and customize data. 
  • Additional features: Make sure to opt for a platform that goes the extra mile to make a difference by offering analytics, AI, automation, alerts, broker research reports, and smart search functionality. Value-added services like these can help you make more informed investment decisions, speed up your research process, and make you much more competitive.