John Gabbert is the CEO and founder of Seattle-based PitchBook Data, Inc., a private equity and venture capital research firm that offers a cutting-edge research platform for professionals in the PE and VC industries. He has 15 years of experience in building venture capital and private equity database products. Prior to founding PitchBook in March 2007, Gabbert was managing director of private markets for Dow Jones & Company, and vice president of worldwide research for VentureOne, VentureSource and The Private Equity Analyst. Throughout his career leading PE and VC research organizations, Gabbert has played a key role in six acquisitions/mergers by both strategic and private equity investors.
Q. WHERE DID THE IDEA FOR PITCHBOOK COME FROM AND WHAT DO YOU SEE AS YOUR ROLE IN THE PE INDUSTRY?
Like a lot of products in the technology space, PitchBook was the result of market demand. For nine years, I ran the team at VentureSource and the most common request I got from clients there was: “Where can we get more data on private equity deals?” I started PitchBook to meet that need. As far as PitchBook’s role in PE, I think we provide transparency in a rather opaque industry. People need reliable information in order to make the best possible decisions, and PitchBook offers that. We provide the highest quality data, which we ensure through a relentlessly managed research process that includes various levels of cross validation. Good data is one thing, but being able to use it is another. We want to make complicated information easy to understand—and more importantly, tools that make our data actionable.
Q. HOW IS PITCHBOOK CHANGING THE WAY PEOPLE GET DEALS DONE? WHO IS THE TYPICAL PITCHBOOK SUBSCRIBER?
Our clients are some of the top professionals in the industry, and range from boutique firms to international giants. They’re smart, savvy and take their roles in this industry very seriously. PitchBook has changed the way people do business in a number of ways. One feature is up-to-date contact information for, at last count, nearly 348,000 industry professionals. In addition to providing data on deals, the PitchBook Platform serves as a networking tool, exclusive to this industry. You can see who’s doing what and get in touch with them directly or through the new LinkedIn feature. We’ve also made sharing and communicating information as easy as possible. You can save customized searches and share search links from user to user, or download search results into Excel, MS Word, PowerPoint or a PDF.