There are three primary venture capital databases: CB Insights, Dow Jones VentureSource and Thomson (the data source behind the PWC MoneyTree report). All three attempt to provide:
- Quarterly venture capital financing activity (deals and dollars); and
- Data on VC-backed exits (M&A and IPOs of companies that have previously received venture capital financing)
The graph above is a five quarter comparison of Dow Jones VentureSource, CB Insights and Thomson VC-backed company exit data. While quarterly financing deals and dollars can and do vary due to timing, methodology and for other more dubious reasons (see below links), exit data should be and is a great deal more black & white. And so missing VC-backed exits should not happen if you have your act together.
Over the last five quarters, CB Insights has tracked 643 VC-backed company exits, Thomson Reuters has tracked 592 and Dow Jones VentureSource 554. That is nearly 100 exits missed by Dow Jones in just the last five quarters.
CB Insights tracks more VC-backed IPOs as well as can be seen in the first graph below. But the largest gap comes in the tracking of VC-backed M&A transactions where CB Insights has tracked 581 in the last five quarters vs. 535 for Thomson and 497 for Dow Jones VentureSource (2nd graph below).