AOL Considering Spinning Off Startup Database Unit CrunchBase

AOL Inc. is considering spinning off technology-company database unit CrunchBase to reflect its value, Chief Executive Officer Tim Armstrong said.

AOL, which acquired CrunchBase owner TechCrunch in 2010, could remain a partial shareholder in the database company, Armstrong said today at a TechCrunch conference in London, according to the technology website.

“I think CrunchBase could be a very big company on its own,” Armstrong said, according to TechCrunch.

A spinoff would let AOL reap benefits from its acquisition of TechCrunch while continuing its move beyond a collection of news and entertainment websites to a focus on online-advertising services and software. TechCrunch keeps statistics such as funding rounds and employee counts for venture capital-backed companies.

AOL, based in New York, doesn’t provide information on sales and profits at CrunchBase and TechCrunch. Along with the Huffington Post, AOL.com and others, they’re part of the company’s brand group, which had sales of $794.4 million last year.

Armstrong reiterated that AOL isn’t going to merge with Yahoo! Inc., brushing off a campaign by Yahoo activist investor Starboard Value LP to combine the companies.

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