Corporate teams that are able to closely track activity in the capital markets will be able to inform their strategy based on actual market conditions and—with the right approach—keep ahead of the competition. With access to detailed market data and by paying attention to key events such as recent deals, acquisitions and fundraising actions, you can get a clearer picture of the spaces you operate within.

Using data for competitive intelligence

Always looking for ways to maintain and improve a company’s competitive advantage, corporate teams are dedicated to ensuring the long-term success of their business. In order to do that, they need to know who their competitors are and what they are doing. That’s why it’s important to track every competitor in your market—from startups entering your space to the largest corporations.

It’s important to follow incumbents in your space as well as new entrants. One way you can do that is through monitoring deal activity—particularly the transactions that competitors are involved in. Insight into these deals can let you know whether your competitor (or even their competitors) may be adjusting their business strategy. 

Insight into recent deal activity can also give you a sense of what new products or services may be in the works for your competitors. Maybe the competitor recently acquired a smaller company and is planning to launch a new product line or enhance its SaaS offerings. Regardless, understanding your competitor’s recent deals can give you an early indication of focus areas or blind spots, leaving room for opportunity.

Tracking investment activity across the public and private markets

Following the most active investors in your vertical or industry can help you anticipate what happens next. For instance, you can determine who you may be going up against in the future by analyzing VC and PE investment activity. Tracking companies at all stages of investment, from angel investors and accelerators/incubators to even the most sophisticated investment firms, can provide a clearer picture of your market space.

It is also possible that investors may compete against your company for a deal, so knowing their previous investments and approach to deal making can also be helpful. By looking at financial data including series terms, cap tables and deal details, you can see exactly how your competitors structure deals and prepare for negotiations. 

Finding emerging spaces and mapping the market

New verticals within the private markets pop up all the time and identifying those spaces in their nascency—before your competitors key in—can be a challenge. With the right data, you can quickly discover and chart these niche corners of the market on the rise. 

Often too fluid to be categorized as an established industry or vertical, emerging spaces include developing areas—like carbon capture and removal, ghost kitchens, and clean meat. Before these spaces take off, it can be an advantage to monitor their development and think through where they might be heading next. 

Market maps are visual representations of a current market landscape, and have long been part of staying on top of competitor activity. But building market maps manually is an imperfect, time-consuming and cumbersome task. PitchBook’s Market Maps feature was created to do that heavy lifting by helping users discover the right companies, create appropriate segments and format it all instantly.

“PitchBook has helped us map out a landscape of the competitive markets where we play.”

—Dustin Klein, Business Operations, Smart Business Network, Inc.

Especially as markets and companies continue to accelerate at a faster pace, keeping up with change and adapting accordingly becomes simultaneously more important and more challenging. It requires constant analysis to understand what a particular space looks like, how it’s evolved and where it’s headed. By bringing more data into your workflow you can help ensure you’re not missing out on any important developments and establish a long-term advantage for your company.

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