Hoover's, Inc.
Subsidiary of Dun and Bradstreet
Founded 1990
Headquarters Austin, Texas, USA
Key people
Gary Hoover, Co-Founder
Patrick Spain, Co-Founder
Website http://www.hoovers.com

Hoover's, Inc., a subsidiary of Dun and Bradstreet, is an American business research company that has provided information on companies and industries since 1990. Since 1993, the company has made its information available on its website.[1] Gary Hoover and Patrick Spain founded the company.[2]


Hoover's maintains a database of more than 85 million companies and 100 million people using an in-house editorial staff of industry experts.[3] The company derives most of its revenues from subscriptions, which are sold primarily to sales, marketing, and business development professionals.[4] It provides less-detailed company, industry, and executive information to non-subscribers. Hoover's also publishes analytical features through its Hoover's Index pages, and its Bizmology and BIZ blogs.

Besides publishing information on its website and in its books, the company distributes information via data feeds and third-party licensing agreements. Hoover's is headquartered in Austin, Texas and also has employees in North America, Europe, and Asia.

Hoover's is a subsidiary of Dun & Bradstreet.[5]

Origins and expansion

Hoover's was started in 1990 by Gary Hoover, Patrick J. Spain, Alan Chai and Alta Campbell. Hoover earlier had founded the Bookstop book store chain and then sold it to Barnes & Noble. Hoover's initially was called The Reference Press; it published reference books about companies. (It still produces books for libraries and related markets, but book publishing is now a small part of the company's sales.)[4]

The company grew rapidly under a business team led by Spain that included Carl Shepherd, Lynn Atchison, Elisabeth DeMarse, Jani Spede, Kris Rao and Gordon Anderson, among others. Spain was CEO from 1993 to 2001 and chairman from 1994 to 2002.

Hoover's made an initial public offering on the NASDAQ exchange in 1999.[6] The company is now a subsidiary of Dun & Bradstreet, which bought Hoover's for $119 million in 2003[7] even though a higher offer was submitted at $138 million[8] and the sale opposed by Disciplined Growth Investors, an asset management firm that held 5.3% of Hoover's shares. Dun & Bradstreet reported Hoover's annual revenue as $50.0 million for 2004, $70.0 million for 2005, and $88.7 million for 2006.[9]

Following the sale Spain launched HighBeam Research and its website highbeam.com in 2003.[10] Spain later sold HighBeam to Cengage Learning in 2008. He also, along with Michael Wolff, co-founded news curator Newser and later with partners Mark Friedman and Ken Anderson founded telemedicine provider First Stop Health. Following the sale of HighBeam, Spain joined the boards of GuideStar, Owler, Televerde, and Community Health.


In May 2001 the company moved its headquarters to the old Butter Krust Bakery building at 5800 Airport Boulevard in Austin, Texas; the company announced the move in a press release on July 11, 2001.[11] A complete renovation transformed the 80,000-square-foot (7,400 m2) former bread making factory into office space.

See also


  1. "Hoovers - Company Information - Industry Information - Lists". hoovers.com.
  2. Solomon, Steve. "The Dynamic Duo." Inc.. October 15, 1997. Retrieved on April 7, 2014.
  3. "Hoovers - Company Information - Industry Information - Lists". hoovers.com.
  4. 1 2 See, e.g., Hoover's SEC filing 10-K, 31 March 2002
  5. Anupreeta Das (July 31, 2012). "Dun & Bradstreet Explores Sale". The Wall Street Journal.
  6. Hoover's SEC filing 424B4, 21 July 1999
  7. Hoover's SEC filing 15-12G, 3 March 2003
  8. "AV, Marathon propose sweeter bid for Hoover's". Austin Business Journal.
  9. Dun & Bradstreet Corporation SEC filing 10-K, 28 February 2007
  10. http://www.highbeam.com/about/bio/execPatrickSpain.hbr
  11. "404 Not Found". hoovers.com.

External links

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