Over the weekend we relaunched CrunchBase, our online database of startup, investor and entrepreneur information. We first launched the site last year as a simple place to dump all the structured data about startups that we get our hands on. Our interns work to add all the data that flows into our inboxes every day to keep it updated, and the site now tracks 1,515 companies, 4,499 people and 762 financial investors.
The new version of CrunchBase has a new design, but that is the least of the changes. The old PHP code has been thrown out, version 2 is a Ruby on Rails application. And while there are a ton of new features, the main change is that any reader can now edit any part of the site, or add new companies, people or investors entirely. We’ve also added RSS feeds for all new stuff, like recently funded, recently launched, etc. Those feeds can be found on the home page (we’ve switching them to Feedburner shortly, so you’ll be able to get these by email as well.
It’s not a wiki yet (that will be added next March), but it shares some wiki-like features like public editing. Our goal is to create a fully wiki based on structured data – something PoliticalBase has done in the political space (The PoliticalBase CrunchBase entry is here). For now, all changes are moderated, but we’ll be adding features that build authority to allow for real time, unmoderated editing of CrunchBase.
This is a work in progress, and we’ll be defining more about it in the near future. For example, there is currently no copyright policy, although we’ll be making this freely usable by others (like Wikipedia) when the Wiki launches. We’ll also be working to get our data into Freebase and other appropriate web services.
We’ve created a simple widget to pull key data about the companies, people and investors in CrunchBase into any other website (example below). If you add the widget to your site a link is automatically created back to your site on the relevant CrunchBase pages.
As we’ve said in the past, there are a number of for-pay services out there that track this exact data and try to charge thousands of dollars per month for access. We can’t see any reason why this data should not be free. So we’re helping to make it that way.
If we’ve missed your startup, or something in CrunchBase is wrong, please correct it by clicking “edit” on the appropriate page.