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Data software company CB Insights now has nearly one million email subscribers

CB Insights, a data software company that caters to buyers and sellers of technology, has nearly one million email newsletter subscribers, co-founder and CEO Anand Sanwal tells Axios.

Why it matters: Long before Silicon Valley titans began launching their own media arms, CB Insights created a blueprint for how tech companies can use content to bolster their businesses.

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  • Most of CB Insights’ content mixes humor with B2B tech and investing insights, a strategy similar to Morning Brew.
  • The company has a dedicated team of analysts and writers that help to drive its media content across newsletters and social media.

Be smart: The company uses social media, like its Instagram account, to test ideas and humor that can work for its newsletters, Sanwal says.

  • While Sanwal concedes that the light-hearted nature of CB Insights’ content has at times turned off clients, he says that for the most part, the firm’s strategy has been an enormously successful leads generator.
  • The firm began investing in content shortly after it launched in 2010 as a way to better compete against data giants like Thomson Reuters, Dow Jones and S&P.
  • “We said, ok, that’s how to punch above our weight — actually give people something useful and data driven,” Sanwal says.

By the numbers: CB Insights has been putting out its flagship newsletter, which reaches more than 750,000 people, for years. The newsletter offers a mix of custom research and analysis, including charts and graphics.

  • It has also launched a series of niche newsletters around topics like digital health, consumer retail and financial services, which collectively have around 150,000 subscribers.

What’s next: The subscription-based data company, which is on track to bring in nearly $100 million in annual recurring revenue next year, has no plans to sell, but Sanwal says he wouldn’t rule out exploring an IPO next year.

  • The firm today has more than 1,000 clients, mostly enterprise businesses, that pay on average around $60,000 per year for a team license to CB Insights’ custom data and research dashboards and reports.
  • Sanwal sees the addressable market for his business as being 100,000 businesses, and he hopes media will help him attract those customers.
  • He plans to continue doubling down on newsletters.
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