Reviewing information about a particular section of the tech industry isn’t always easy, but you’d never know that from looking at Venture Scanner.
Venture Scanner is sort of like an updated version of a research analyst firm without the clunky directories and cumbersome PDF reports behind a paywall. It pulls data from CrunchBase, AngelList, and other sources to report on select subsections of the tech industry it calls “scans.”
For example, Venture Scanner’s Bitcoin scan is tracking 327 startups that have collectively raised $83.7 million in funding. Of those companies, 97 are Bitcoin exchanges, 27 do Bitcoin Mining, and five do Bitcoin verification. (In particular, the number of Bitcoin verification startups seems tiny considering the huge security breach that’s caused notable Bitcoin startup Mt. Gox to shut down.) The scan also includes recent headlines about the Bitcoin market from news outlets, other marketing analysts, and a detailed run down of each company.
Above: A screenshot of Venture Scanner’s Bitcoin scan page.
“We are using structured data from APIs and unstructured data (crawling news articles, company pages, etc.), and have built clustering technology to map markets,” said Venture Scanner founder Nader Ghaffari in an interview with VentureBeat. But sometimes a huge database isn’t really enough to pull out usable data, which is why there’s also a human component.
Venture Scanner also employs a “lead” for each market that does further curation, contributes additional insights, and actually talks to startups. Whenever the lead meets with a startup, it gets marked as “qualified,” and it usually contains a bit more information. Leads will also meet with paying subscribers on a weekly basis to flesh out specific information helpful to them.
If this service seems like an incredibly useful tool for an investment firm, that’s because it actually started out as one for Netservice Ventures (NSV). However, Ghaffari and cofounders Jereme Monteau and NSV partner Richard Melmon realized the potential Venture Scanner could offer to both VC firms and corporations, they decided to spin it out as a separate business.
“What we’re trying to do with Venture Scanner is provide a resource that allows all startups operating within each market to get an equal look, regardless of how much news coverage or funding they receive,” Ghaffari said. “Technology alone isn’t the answer, but we’ve got a nice balance of curation and structured data.”
Venture Scanner is currently tracking 12 markets, including 3D printing, Internet of things, future of TV, social advertising, connected Home, and more. The startup is currently backed by NSV, and declined to comment about potentially raising additional funding.