If you're a growing B2B organization, at some point you're likely going to consider leveraging a Company API. Whether you need the company data for:
- Enriching records for marketing / sales
- In-product features
- As features for ML models
- Or just general use cases such as research and analytics
You may start off trying to manually acquire this data, but at a scale, it's better to automate it and incorporate a 3rd party API.
Choosing a Company API
Choosing an API for company information ultimately depends on your use case, but there are some common specs and features to look for:
Most providers have the basic fields including company name, employee count, and industry. When you're looking for more specialized fields though, such as funding amount, estimated revenue, or metrics over time, there aren't as many options.
Data accuracy and fill rate
When evaluating an API, the first stage is whether or the not the API can even return a matching record. Basically, is the record in their database, and if not, can they do a live lookup?
Next, it's about the fill rate (how many fields have data) and the accuracy (is the data correct).
This often boils down to where the provider gets their data from and how often it's refreshed. Common refresh times range from every 30 days, to quarterly, annually, or sometimes close to never.
Ease of integration
After choosing an API, a big factor to consider is how you will integrate it into your system. Some providers have integrations with platforms such as Salesforce and Marketo, which makes setup easier, while others will require writing code to call the API directly.
Some factors to consider:
- Is the API documentation clear?
- What is the input to lookup records?
- What does the data schema look like? How easy is the data to work with?
- Does the API have a webhook integration for asynchronous lookups?
- Does the API have a real-time endpoint for synchronous lookups?
If you're a large enterprise or VC backed company with low request volumes and money to burn, price may not be much a factor.
For organizations that are more price conscious, will have large request volumes, or are not ready to commit to an annual contract, price becomes a more important consideration.
The Top 5 APIs
Clearbit is arguably the best data provider at this time. They have some of the best data, offer both company and person records, and the data is refreshed every 30 days. They have a great developer experience with an easy to use schema, APIs for async/sync lookups, and a company name to domain API as well.
Initially offering public pricing and self-service onboarding, Clearbit has since changed to "Request a demo". Be prepared for an annual contract and to pay top dollar.
There have also been complaints about their sales team being difficult to work with. Potential customers have been denied access to the API if their use case isn't approved.
For example, if your organization has Salesforce or Marketo, you are barred from using the API. You are instead directed to use their formal integrations, which have significantly higher pricing.
- Great data coverage and fill rate
- Clean and simple data schema
- Multiple options to integrate (async/sync lookups)
- Salesforce and Marketo integrations
- Offers both company and person data
- High price with annual contract
- Data is good, but not always accurate
- Coverage in the non-English speaking world is lacking
- If you use Salesforce or Marketo, you're blocked from using the API
- Buying the entire Clearbit database is not an option
BigPicture is a good option to consider if you're interested in the breadth of data Clearbit offers, the ease of integration, but are more price conscious.
BigPicture's data includes the common fields such as company name, employee count, industry, and location of the HQ, along with metrics such as alexa rank, estimated annual revenue, and funding raised.
The data is currently optimized towards the English speaking world and is updated quarterly. There are APIs for async/sync lookups (webhooks/streaming) and there is also a company name to domain API.
- Low price. Typically 50% or more of Clearbit.
- Good data coverage
- Self-service with monthly billing
- Easy to integrate with async/sync lookups
- Option to purchase the entire database
- Missing some fields such as industry NAICS/SIC codes
- Annual revenue data for smaller companies is lacking
- No Salesforce or Marketo integration for data enrichment
- Data is updated quarterly vs every 30 days
FullContact has come to specialize in people level data with their Identity Graph, but they offer a good company dataset as well.
While FullContact has all the common company data fields, more metrics driven fields such as revenue, market cap, and funding are lacking.
On developer experience, the docs are clear, but the schema is a bit nested and may require some extra coding to parse. When doing lookups, there isn't a real-time sync option available, so your only choice is async requests via webhooks.
Overall, it's a solid option if you're looking for basic company data at a reasonable price.
- Offer both person and company data
- Good coverage
- Webhook interface
- Company name to domain API available
- No longer self-service and requires a conversation with sales
- Pricing is an annual contract
- Person focused. No company funding, revenue, or market cap data
- Doesn't have a real-time, sync endpoint
- API output may require extra coding
Crunchbase is a popular option and has a unique data set. In addition to all the basic company data, they have extensive funding information along with optional "cards" for more detailed data.
While Crunchbase has good data, it's definitely more tech/startup oriented and is not able to do live lookups of records not yet in its database. With a total ~1.5M records, compared to 40M+ offered by other providers, the database size is very limiting.
With that said, if your focus is startups and funding information, Crunchbase is a great source.
- Extensive startup funding data
- Good data coverage for companies in its database
- Robust search APIs to query the database
- Salesforce integration
- Reasonable pricing
- License covers the whole database
- Limited database size (~1.5M) geared towards tech startups
- Not able to do real-time lookups
- Data for large companies is often out of date
- Requires annual contract
Mattermark has the basic company data along with a good selection of unique fields related to a company's growth. This includes fields such as:
- Employee count from a month ago and 6 months ago
- Funding and acquisition data
- Growth and "mindshare" scores
While they have a unique dataset, the overall company database size is limited at ~4M records. As to making requests, they have a robust API for making complex queries, but it's limited to the data in their system. They do not offer options for making async/sync, real-time lookups.
- Unique dataset focusing on the growth metrics of a company
- Robust query API
- Salesforce integration
- Reasonable pricing
- Database is only 4M records
- No options for real-time lookups of data not in their database
- Requires annual contract