This morning, Fred Wilson introduces us to one of Union Square Ventures' portfolio companies that is coming out of stealth and launching publicly. Tracked.com is a sort of re-imagining of a business information service that provides personalized information on businesses and the people associated with them.
The start-up is positioned to be a competitor to Google and Yahoo Finance, which are largely ticker-based, as well as user-driven information sites like CrunchBase, Wikipedia, and, to some extent, LinkedIn.
Conceived by Mike Yavonditte, formerly of Quigo, Tracked.com, of course, provides extensive information on ticker-based companies, including company financials, much like Google and Yahoo Finance do, but it's not just a stock service. Its strong point is that it also tracks privately held companies, gathering any available information on them. For all of these companies, Tracked shows a wealth of information and news as well as the people associated with the company, complete with fleshed out profiles on them as well.
Tracked helps you keep an eye on the companies and people that you find important in the business world. It has a completely customizable "My Tracker" section that allows you to pick what companies and people to watch. For public companies, it has more robust functionality than Google or Yahoo Finance. It even calls out a lot of interesting data like executive compensation. For example, you can view a list of the executives with the highest compensation in 2006. For private companies, Tracked might be the most extensive, publicly available database in existence (aside from Wikipedia) and it's sure to grow even more.
One thing that is notably different about Tracked as compared to Wikipedia or CrunchBase is that users cannot edit current entries or add new ones. This ensures that the data on Tracked is accurate since the team can check all of the data that comes in. The downside to this is that it cannot possibly include as much information as a user-driven site.
Overall, Tracked.com is a strong, customizable alternative that will pull some users away from Google and Yahoo Finance. It is a convenient and highly addictive way to browse through information on public and private businesses as well as people. The information is so extensive and interesting that you should plan to burn a couple of hours the first time that you check the site out.
You may notice that Tracked.com is operating a little slow right now with the surge of traffic from its launch. Hopefully, as they work out the kinks, performance will improve.
Here are some additional screenshots to give you a better idea of the site's functionality, but you should really just check it out yourself.