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This article was published on September 22, 2015

Crunchbase leaves AOL with funding by Emergence Capital

Crunchbase leaves AOL with funding by Emergence Capital
Lauren Hockenson
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Lauren Hockenson

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Lauren is a reporter for The Next Web, based in San Francisco. She covers the key players that make the tech ecosystem what it is right now. Lauren is a reporter for The Next Web, based in San Francisco. She covers the key players that make the tech ecosystem what it is right now. She also has a folder full of dog GIFs and uses them liberally on Twitter at @lhockenson.

Crunchbase, the startup database service operated by TechCrunch, is now spinning out into its own company. Announced onstage in San Francisco at TechCrunch Disrupt 2015, TechCrunch COO and General Manager of AOL Media Ned Desmond announced that Crunchbase will leave AOL — and closed a funding round with Emergence Capital Partners.

This is the confirmation of brewing rumors reported (coincidentally) by TechCrunch a few weeks ago. According to the report, Crunchbase will receive an investment from Emergence Capital totaling between $5 million and $7 million. The VC firm declined to disclose the amount at this time.

“We’ve been working with AOL for nearly 7 months on this spin-out, and we are excited that we funded the company this morning,” Emergence Capital Partner Santi Subotovsky said in a statement to TNW. “We really enjoy working with early stage companies, and can’t wait to start building with Jager at the helm.”

The company also has a new CEO. Jager McConnell spent 11 years at Salesforce, and held the most recent position of VP of Product for their Sales Cloud division. Crunchbase President Matt Kaufman will continue on in his current role. Desmond indicated that under McConnell’s leadership, Crunchbase is looking to expand in scope and personnel.

As for its relationship to TechCrunch, it seems that the company will remain close with the publication.

“Those two properties are deeply integrated and that will not change,” Desmond said.

Separating Crunchbase out into its own independent company is likely a good thing, as it has become a valuable independent resource for both startups and media to keep track of funding rounds, personnel changes, and other news for some of the biggest tech companies today.

Crunchbase underwent a refresh last year, incorporating a new site design as well as a more community-focused data approach. As of the refresh, more than 7,000 API partners relied on Crunchbase data.

An earlier version of this story indicated that Crunchbase is seeking a funding round, led by Emergence Capital Partners. The firm confirmed to TNW that the round has actually closed. 

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