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CB Insights, a company that offers access to reports and data on privately held companies and venture capital investments, has an announcement of its own today — an initial $10 million round of institutional funding.

Public companies, investors, and even media outlets pay for CB Insights’ work — the company counts 325 customers, including Cisco, Gartner, Microsoft, and New Enterprise Associates. And CB Insights is profitable.

The new money is arriving as CB Insights expands with new services, including a bot that figures out who customers should get to know and then sends out email introductions.

That might sound like a somewhat random product, but customers have often come to the CB Insights team for recommendations on who they should get to know. Now, the company has automated those processes with a virtual assistant named Ava, according to a blog post from CB Insights cofounder and chief executive Anand Sanwal.

An email introduction from CB Insights' Ava bot.

Above: An email introduction from CB Insights’ Ava bot.

Image Credit: CB Insights

“Ava uses a number of signals — from board relationships and recent acquisitions to press releases and blog posts — about an individual and their firm to build a professional interest graph for each individual. It then looks for others who have similar interests and then makes introductions,” Sanwal wrote.

CB Insights is also announcing today a predictive analytics tool that sales teams can use to figure out which companies they should pursue. And there’s a new company-rating scale that takes into consideration data from media reports, tweets, and the market in which a given company operates.

These additions could help CB Insights distinguish itself further from other private company research startups, including DataFox, Mattermark, and Tracxn.

New York-based CB Insights started in 2008. The company announced a $1.15 million grant from the National Science Foundation earlier this year. RSTP provided the new funding.

CB Insights has 61 employees, and it will have around 100-120 a year from now, Sanwal told VentureBeat in an email.

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