Crunchbase Adds Real-Time Updates with Stream’s Activity Feed API

How Stream’s activity feed API helps Crunchbase deliver low-latency, real-time updates.

Problem: Crunchbase’s in-house feed solution sent daily updates to the platform’s registered users, who can follow both specific companies and whole markets. But to provide their growing base of business development customers a competitive advantage, Crunchbase required a customizable, low-latency news feed that displayed important updates such as funding announcements, new hires, and IPOs.

Strategy: Crunchbase integrated Stream’s activity feed API in just two months to send reliable, real-time updates to registered Crunchbase users.

Results: Over half of Crunchbase’s registered users interact with the activity feed per session, lending deeper engagement with the platform and more weekly active users (WAU).

About Crunchbase

Crunchbase is the leading provider of private-company prospecting and research solutions. Salespeople, entrepreneurs, investors, and market researchers use Crunchbase to prospect for new business opportunities. With over 60 million annual visitors, Crunchbase requires a scalable, reliable tech stack that can handle billions of API calls and updates per year.

"The company and people profiles on Crunchbase are constantly changing,” says Martin Guelck, group product manager at Crunchbase. “Our users, especially salespeople, want to know when these changes go live in the companies or markets that they’re interested in. By partnering with Stream, we were able to integrate a customizable activity feed into our paid products that boosted engagement among our sales users.”

Crunchbase offers a spectrum of paid products, ranging from Crunchbase Starter, a self-service search and tracking functionality to monitor companies of interest, to Crunchbase Pro, which helps find and close deals through relevant account recommendations, account qualification tools, and CRM integrations. The Crunchbase Enterprise plan includes even greater functionality and hands-on support for large prospecting teams.

Why Crunchbase Chose Stream

When Crunchbase approached Stream, the platform already had an in-house built solution to notify registered users of curated people, market, and company updates. But the tool was only capable of providing daily notifications — a disadvantage for salespeople, as timing is key. If, for example, a prospect announces a new funding round, it behooves software sales professionals to reach out first.

But building a performant, low-latency activity feed at scale is challenging, expensive, and time consuming. Crunchbase turned to Stream to integrate an enterprise-scale, customizable activity feed into its paid products to boost user engagement, and stand out from competitors.

One factor that led Crunchbase to choose Stream’s activity feed API over other feed providers was the ability to build a custom ranking function on an aggregated feed. Crunchbase’s activity feed is semi-chronological, meaning while most posts such as product announcements and news events populate in the order they are posted, high-value posts such as important funding rounds, mergers, acquisitions, and initial public offerings rocket to the top of the feed, ensuring that users don’t miss these crucial company updates. “We wanted to make sure these valuable pieces didn’t get lost in a stream of everyday news,” explains Guelck.

Additionally, the Crunchbase team evaluated feed vendors based on their ability to perform at scale. Unlike most social media apps, where users typically follow a hundred or so accounts, Crunchbase users can easily follow upwards of hundreds of thousands of accounts — a concerning challenge to Guelck. “We were most worried about propagating all of these updates,” he says.

Using Stream’s Java SDK and REST API, it took Crunchbase roughly two months to get the activity feed up and running on their platform.

Increased Engagement with Feeds

After integrating with Stream’s activity feed API, Crunchbase experienced a notable engagement spike. Now, half of Crunchbase’s users interact with the activity feed in a given session, and they are getting more value out of Crunchbase’s core products. “We are definitely seeing deeper engagement, and we see people interacting more with these feed elements and adding more companies to their watchlist,” says Guelck.

Stream allows Crunchbase to be an essential business tool for their core customers because their evolving dataset can be easily monitored and searched. In a profession where timing is everything, Crunchbase is enabling their business development and sales customers to have the tools and information they need to make the right connections, with the right prospects, at the right time.

Want to learn how Stream’s scalable activity feed APIs can transform your business? Try Stream's interactive feed tutorial today!