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Crunchbase On Its Way To Become An Independent Company With AOL As Significant Investor

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Crunchbase or the “definitive database of the startup ecosystem”, is in the middle of talks for an investment of between $5 million and $7 million from Emergence Capital Partners, a renowned SaaS specialist and is on its way to spin out from its parent company AOL, reported TechCruch.

AOL however, is reported to remain as a significant investor. AOL spokeswoman declined to comment on the split and neither did Emergence Capital or Crunchbase executives provide any information regarding the matter.

However a person familiar with the matter said,

AOL agreed to spin out CrunchBase because an enterprise data business isn’t in its wheelhouse; it also recognized that [CrunchBase] is a potentially valuable business.

Crunchbase, is considered one of the most intensive and comprehensive database on startups, companies and new-age products. The entire database is openly editable by anyone who logs in (similar to Wikipedia), thus making it one of the biggest sources of information on companies and enterprises across the globe.

The talks of split reportedly had started an year ago, even before AOL itself got acquired by Verizon for $4.4 billion, and Crunchbase was in talks with lead investors to invest in Crunchbase, one of whom was a San Francisco-based firm called Data Collective.

Data Collective was said to be interested in leading a circular that might permit Crunchbase to spin out of AOL. However there was disagreement between the company and AOL over the long term leadership of the company.

Cruchbase, which has so far remained discreet in disclosing information about its data licensing procedures, would soon begin selling information collected by it through licenses to venture outfits and research firms. And to oversee these efforts, it has plans to bring a senior executive as part of the Emergence round. There are also reports of Emergence planning to add co-investors in future but for now they are just focussed on getting the deal done.


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