Most of the new features we announce on this blog are large-scale projects where we add a huge chunk of data to Wolfram|Alpha all at once. But there are always dozens of background projects going on at any given time—including a seemingly never-ending effort to expand our database of information on private companies.
We started out with coverage of only the largest US companies, including giants like Bechtel and Cargill. But recently we’ve been mining CrunchBase to pick up more information on popular tech startups. There’s still a long way to go: as with any database of user-edited content, we have to do a lot of programmatic and manual curation to bring the content up to our standards. But with this year’s TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco coming up next week, we thought it might be fun to call some attention to this effort.
We made a special push to try to add Disrupt finalists from the past three years, along with whatever funding history we could glean from CrunchBase. This includes relatively well-funded operations like Ark, DataSift, and Firespotter Labs (developers of Disrupt NY 2012 winner Uberconference), as well as smaller companies like Babelverse, Incident, and GameCrush.
Where a history of funding data is available, you can compare several companies’ progress over time. Have they maintained a high level of fundraising? Did they get out of the gate with lots of seed money, and then go quiet? Has finalist status at a Disrupt conference had any impact on fundraising ability?
Well… maybe we can’t definitively answer that last question, but your speculation can at least be a bit more informed.
For most companies, note too that Wolfram|Alpha will also display basic web statistics, letting you see if some companies might be winning the war for web viewers, if not venture capitalist dollars.
Like I said, this is an ongoing project with a lot of data cleanup and alignment, so the startup of your choice might not have made it into the system yet. So let us know if we don’t have someone you’re looking for, or if you can provide any additional (or improved) information on a particular company.
Good luck to this year’s competitors! If we don’t cover them already, we’ll make an effort to get them into Wolfram|Alpha as soon as possible after the conference.