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AA 023: How can I get competitor information?

Welcome to the 23rd podcast of the Ask Alex show! Today the question is “How can I get competitor information?

In this podcast, we get into competitor analysis:

  • All the sources you can find out competitor informationpitch deck
  • The paid sources
  • The free sources
  • The only source for financial information
  • A sneaky way to extract information from their staff…

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  • Financial information
    • Companies house in the UK you can find financial information
    • Can do similar in Ireland. If you read updated constitution you can see how much they raised and structured their company
    • Edgar is a source in America, but of little value beyond finding a few details on hedge funds
  • General information
    • These are your first port of call
    • Angellist
      • You can get description
      • If you have an investor account you can find more information, but people don’t really share there anymore. You used to be able to get a lot more information
    • Crunchbase
      • You can get description
      • You get all the fundraises to date so you can see how much they have raised. This is not always perfect but it’s the only place to find fundraise information short of maybe reading announcements
      • The information typically comes from investors uploading excel files though so maybe more than in google
    • Google
      • Look for interviews
      • Press announcements
      • You can set up a news alert for all your competitors
    • Company website
      • Read everything!
    • Public posting
      • See if they have posted anything on Slideshare. You will be surprised by what you can occasionally find
    • Paid
      • For larger companies, if you can get hold of reports from Gartner and Forrester
      • On general market information, you want to find from Euromonitor
      • Mattermark, CBInsights aggregate various information but they are not cheap
    • Apps
      • App Annie is your jam. Again, this is not cheap at all. They charge by segment so this is an expensive source of competitor information
    • Public companies
      • Broker notes form investment banks are incredible. You especially want to ask your friend for initiation of coverage notes. The people who have access are way less these days though so it’s hard. You may also find your friend’s name is watermarked, so don’t go sharing
    • Linkedin
      • Go through every profile of the competitors. You especially want to check what developers write as they tend to write about the projects they have worked on and their tech stack. This isn’t a sure win and the info is not always super useful, but it adds to your knowledge
    • Call people
      • Find former employees on Linkedin. See if they will chat to you. This is a great, but dishonest source of competitor information
      • The sneaky one is to pretend to hire for a c level job. Fly them in and you can get a lot of info out of them

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