PitchBook in WRDS

Penn researchers have access to PitchBook, a popular private capital markets resource, via its native interface. However, Individual users are subject to download limits of 10 daily/25 monthly rows of company, deal, or fund data, as well as 10 daily/25 monthly rows of people data. For researchers needing more downloads, Wharton Research Data Services, or WRDS, offers PitchBook private equity, venture capital, and additional private placements data.

image of PitchBook landing page on the Wharton Research Data Services (WRDS) platform

PitchBook data available in WRDS covers all aspects of private capital raising, featuring more than 1.6 million deals, 3 million companies including more than 660,000 private companies, 31,000 funds, and 300,000 investors. Deals provide a transaction-level view, fund data focuses on each fund held by an investment firm, and the company and investor data is presented at the business entity level. Though much of the data in PitchBook reflects only the most recent update available, also referred to as “header” data, more comprehensive data begins in the late 1990s/early 2000s, with 1% of historical coverage prior to 1992 increasing to 5% by 2000 and 10% by 2004. WRDS is developing snapshot integration that will begin to create a “history” of PitchBook header data.

Datasets from PitchBook are organized on the WRDS platform as follows: Venture Capital North America, Venture Capital Rest of World, Private Equity North America, Private Equity Rest of World, Other Data North America, and Other Data Rest of World. Within each dataset, the following queries are available: Company, Deal, Fund, and Investor. Company variables include ticker and Central Index Key (CIK) identifiers, industry descriptions and codes, and financing details. Deal variables include dates of deal announcement and completion, amount of capital invested, deal status, percentage of stake acquired, transaction categorization, detailed transaction summary, and valuation measures. If applicable, IPO details are available. CEO biographies and education summaries are also retrieved through a Deal query.

Variables in the Fund query include fund preferences, a breakout table of the fund’s direct investments, and whether the fund received investment capital from a Small Business Investment Company, a privately owned and managed investment fund licensed and regulated by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Investor query variables include investor and summary-level fund details, investment activity, and aspects of investor targets.

In addition to the four primary queries, there are 15 “relation” queries, each focusing on two categories of variables. Researchers interested in a list of a particular company’s competitors will be interested in the Company Competitor Relation query, while those examining deals entered into by certain investors will find the Deal Investor Relation query useful. There are even relation queries for deals and their tranches and deals and their beneficiaries.

From a query page, use the Data Preview tab to view the first ten rows of data for selected variables and conditional statements from the chosen data table. From the Data Preview page, the first 1,000 rows of data can be downloaded directly in xslx, api, or json format. Alternatively, click the Access All Data button on the Data Preview page to open SAS/Studio at WRDS, a web-based version of SAS, to access all data.

PitchBook documentation includes a spec file containing variable definitions, comments, and sample data. The WRDS Overview of Pitchbook page features a visual representation of PitchBook dataset organization, database usage notes, and guidance for linking PitchBook data to other datasets.  

Whether you want to track company growth, explore company financing or deals, or investigate investors, consider using PitchBook in WRDS. Contact Lippincott Library for assistance.