Database of the Month: PrivCo

PrivCo is an indispensable tool for company and industry research.  Its primary focus is on private, public, and foreign companies in specialized industries like On-Demand Services, e.g. Grubhub, DoorDash, or Transferwise.    

What sets it apart from other company directories are the up-to-date funding and M&A histories, which are cross-listed with company and investor profiles directly on PrivCo. 

company profile for GrubHub

The company overviews are concise and state the company’s business and all the industries it operates in.  Furthermore, the organization information is current and accurate.  For example, BV, a Dutch online food delivery marketplace, bought Grubhub in June 2020.  Accordingly, PrivCo gives BV as its parent.  In other company directories, Grubhub Inc. is still given as the parent.  Former names are given too, e.g. Grubhub Seamless, which aid in researching the company history on our other databases such as Nexis Uni.

Industry classifications do not capture the dynamism of companies operating across boundaries.  To that end, PrivCo traces connections between companies through its crowdsourced keywords describing the new demands and opportunities companies are pursuing.  In one snapshot, the keywords capture the diversity of a company like Amazon and link you to its competitors. 

industry description and keywords for Amazon

Those same keywords can also be your starting point to find companies and investors on PrivCo.  In the Search feature, you can look up existing keywords for those entities.  The Search feature also allows you to select specialized industries, focus on specific geographic regions, and specify ranges for revenue, revenue growth, employees, employee growth, funding, and founding years.  You can also limit your search to companies backed by Private Equity or Venture Capital. 

PrivCo search feature

Below the Search feature, A 100+ page Knowledge Bank lays out important industry terms and meanings for you to interpret content.  Above the Search feature, PrivCo’s Dashboard you can view updates for M&A deals, funding, and specialized industries. 

PrivCo dashboard

Industry convergence defines business today, and PrivCo is the tool to learn about the companies making it happen. 

Database of the Month provides a very brief introduction to useful library databases, highlighting key features you should know about. If you would like more information about this resource (or any of the library’s databases), please contact us for research assistance. If you would like a demonstration of these resources for a class, please schedule a research instruction class using the instruction request form.

Database of the Month: PrivCo

Organizations that are family owned or private are typically hard to gather information on. PrivCo serves up private company metrics which would formerly have taken hours to accumulate.  It taps multiple reference sources, articles, and industry info.

PrivCo connects the user to company directory information, financial data on private companies, and investors involved in private company activity.

Who can use it? Who benefits?

Eligible users include Bentley students, faculty, staff, community users.  Beneficiaries are most likely participants in GB 320 who are assigned company research, and any future venture capitalists who will appreciate the due diligence that can be performed with this e-resource.

What’s inside?

Private company profiles and deals about them, laid out in tables. Find:

  • description and history of a business
  • known investors (for example, Uber Technologies’ largest stakeholder is Fidelity with 2.5 %)
  • revenue model
  • competitors
  • court documents

Why use it?

  1. Merger and acquisition information
  2. Venture Capital activity
  3. Private Equity deals
  4. Pre-search for an internship
  5. General private company searching

Sample search for venture capital information:

Imagine an entrepreneur seeking new sources for his next VC deal. He wants to identify companies and view activity within a specific geographic location (Massachusetts) and a certain dollar amount ($50K – $1M). He logs in to his PrivCo account and begins a search so he can analyze who has funded whom, for how much.

  1. In the screenshot below you’ll see the opening page to a PrivCo account. Note VC funding tab pointed out on left of the dashboard. Arrow on right displays log-in name within the profile (we recommend establishing a profile).

    PrivCo search screen
    Click to view larger image.
  2. Input parameters: for the venture capital transactions in question, he wants rounds in the range of $50,000 – $1M in Massachusetts in the last 5 years.

    PrivCo search screen - funding parameters
    Click to view larger image
  3. There are 343 results for venture capitalist activity which meet the criteria of $50K-$1M, located in Massachusetts. The link labeled “deal details” is the heart of the search. See screen shot below.

    PrivCo search results screen
    Click to view larger image
  4. Within the “Deal Details” of the first result for Weave Visual Analytics, Inc., it says this company received $750,00 in funds from Breton Capital. Weave was in its 2nd year of business at the time of the transaction, June 2016.

Where does PrivCo get its material?

Company information is gleaned from public documents such as regulatory documents, court proceedings, reference materials, industry information, and articles in the news.

What sets it apart?

  • Private company information with many links between companies reduces search time
  • Profile data can be exported to an excel spreadsheet, or exported as a PDF
  • Watchlists. I think this is PrivCo’s biggest contribution, an alert system which can connect to your email, for company activity
  • Well organized and has an easy interface to learn
  • Built with redundant navigation making it accessible to many learning styles

PrivCo company watchlist
Watchlist adds value to this database. Above: Uber’s company profile, with “Add to watchlist” circled.
Click to view larger image.

Locating PrivCo

Well-developed Self-help

  • PrivCo lets you export company profiles as an excel spreadsheet or PDF
  • Rich dictionary of terms
  • 85 page PDF of the entire Knowledge bank (FAQ’s) can be down loaded for further exploration

One last thing

Create a PrivCo profile and accumulate previous searches in one place; it will save time and allow a user to pick up an idea where they left off last. This makes research feel easy.


Database of the Month provides a very brief introduction to a useful website or Library database, highlighting key features you should know about. If you would like more information about this free web resource (or any of the library’s databases), please contact us for research assistance. If you would like a demonstration of this resource for a class, please schedule a research instruction class using this form.

Database of the Month: PrivCo

PrivCo image

Trying to find financial information on private companies?  The Bentley Library has just added PrivCo, a database specializing in hard to find data on major private companies, to its growing list of electronic databases.  PrivCo provides access to detailed information on private company financials and revenues,  private merger and acquisition deals, private firm valuations,  private equity deals, venture capital fundings, private and family ownership breakdowns, bankruptcies, and restructurings. According to its website, PrivCo has reports on over 228,000 private companies, 12,500 private investors, 44,000 private merger and acquisition deals, and 37,000 VC funding rounds.


You can search for an individual company or investor directly by simply entering the name in the search box in the upper right corner of the screen.  If you want to generate a list of companies or investors that fit certain criteria, use the Advanced Search option.   In the Advanced Search option, you can limit your search for companies or investors by:

  • Region or industry
  • Annual revenues, growth rates, and total number of employees within a certain range
  • Investor type and preferred stage of investment
  • Deal size, funding round size, and total funding raised


Company Information

The amount of information contained in a company report will vary depending on the company but often includes the following:

  • Business summary
  • Overview and corporate organization
  • Competitors & comparables
  • Ownership
  • Charts, financials, and statistics, including revenues, gross profits, total employees, productivity, and total locations
  • Detailed business description, including information on strategy, products, marketing, industry trends, history, and lawsuits and controversies.

Investor Information

The amount of information will also vary by investor but will most likely include the following:

  • Investor summary
  • Recent news, updates, and analysis
  • Investor overview
  • Investor contacts
  • Private deal history, including total deal amount

Knowledge Bank

PrivCo also has a section called the Knowledge Bank which is a repository of general information on private companies, private company valuation, mergers and acquisitions, private equity and venture capital, and bankruptcy and restructuring.  The entries in this section are detailed and extensive and are designed to help users navigate and understand the ins and outs of the private market.

PrivCo is available through the Bentley Library’s Databases A to Z listing.  For further assistance using the PrivCo, please contact the Reference Desk.



Database of the Month provides a very brief introduction to an important research database, highlighting key features of the database that you should know about. If you would like more information about this database (or any of the library’s databases) please Ask a Librarian. If you would like a demonstration of this database for a class, please contact our Coordinator of User Education, Elizabeth Galoozis.