Keeping track of lists of startup companies in spreadsheets can be a nightmare, so we made a better alternative.

If you’re keeping a list of startup companies in Excel or in Google Docs, you’re sitting on a ticking time bomb of inaccuracy and inefficiency. For anyone who has tried this, you know that the information quickly gets stale and collaboration is near impossible.

Excel Hell

We get why folks start in Excel or Google Docs. It’s easy, everyone has access, it seems intuitive.

It usually starts like this.

You want to track genomics companies and so you start tracking fields in a spreadsheet that are of interest to you and your team (columns A through H are detailed below):

A. Company name

B. Website

C. Total funding


E. Investors

F. Last round of funding

G. Valuation

H. Date of last contact

You dutifully fill this out and share it with colleagues and suggest that this is the place where the team should keep upto-date on the genomics space.

The spreadsheet looks like this.




All seems good in the world and you’re proud of yourself for having this database of genomics startups. The team is excited to have a place with “one version of the truth”.

And then it begins to unravel.

Often, horribly.

This unraveling happens typically in 4 ways:

  • Identifying and adding new companies is hard. You have to be aware of every new company in the space which is difficult to do. And if you spot a company, you have to remember to update the spreadsheet.
  • Keeping data/info on companies on the sheet fresh is hard. Your spreadsheet is the most current it will ever be right after you create it. If one of those companies raises new funding, gets acquired, pivots, etc, you have to see that and again, remember to update it.
  • There is no way to tie news or docs or events to this spreadsheet. Spreadsheets are not made for a relational view of these startups so if you have a document or article link about a company you’re tracking, you could add a column for links but we know the reality is nobody will ever click on those.
  • People start commenting in Column I (Oh Lord). So you start commenting on a company in Column I and then your colleague responds in Column J and on and on. This is madness. Google sheets and Excel were not designed as a commenting & collaboration platforms.


Buh-bye Excel Hell

Yes indeed.

You can now upload a spreadsheet to CB Insights and get:

  • Automatic updates as similar companies are identified
  • Always current financing, investor data on companies because it is tied to CBI data
  • The ability to tie documents, articles, events and more to companies
  • Commenting and collaboration capabilities with people on (and beyond) your CBI subscription

Here’s how it works: To upload an Excel list, you’ll need to build a Collection or add it to an existing one. In this case, you’ll build a new Collection called “Genomics Startups to Watch”

On the company tab, you’ll select the “Import from Excel” option and simply copy and paste your list right into cells you’ll see on the page (like below).

Collections_Excel upload_last

And then you let the magic happen. Collections recognizes the companies from your list and syncs them with the information on these companies on the CB Insights platform.

If your list happens to include brand new companies that do not have funding yet and therefore no data available, Collections will still import them and create private profiles for you.

So, now Collections has transformed your static Excel doc into something like this.

Genomics Startups To Watch_fina'


What’s better?

You’re getting similar company recommendations. As the below screenshot below illustrates, immediately after uploading, our algorithm (modeled after Spotify playlist recommendations) has found 20 similar companies.

Genomics Similar Companies

You simply upvote or downvote and our algorithm gets smarter about what you’re interested in.


The list you’d initially updated is kept current all the time. If a company on your list gets new funding, Collections will dynamically reflect this so that the list maintains its relevance over time. Now the pressure is off of you to monitor it constantly, meaning that you can officially unchain yourself/your analyst from the list.

Latest funding

News is recommended to you and you can upload files, events
You can keep all related information about companies or the genomics space within the Collection.  No more spreadsheet with links embedded that nobody cares to update or read.


Excel news update

Goodbye, spreadsheet commenting.

Within your Genomics Collection, you can now comment on companies, articles, documents or anything in the Collection. The end of rigging a spreadsheet to be your collaboration tool.

Moreover, you can invite people to this Collection who are part of your subscription or beyond it, i.e. founders, co-investors, advisors, etc. Collaboration happens painlessly.

If you’d like to rise above the limits of spreadsheets, try the Import from Excel in Collections now.  Or reach out to your CB Insights Customer Success Manager and they can help translate your spreadsheet for you.