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Prequin vs Dakota Marketplace: Which is Right For You?

By: Amy Sariego

Originally posted on February 02, 2022
Last updated on May 5, 2022

It can be overwhelming to try and find the right institutional investor database for your business. Even a cursory search will show that there are dozens of databases to choose from, each promising to end your sales teams’ problems by delivering the data and leads needed to drive your goals home.

Each one focuses on a different channel and provides a different level of insight — so where do you start?

At the end of the day, you’re looking to drive results for your business, and to save your sales team from doing the administrative heavy-lifting that comes with prospecting and setting meetings. 

In the investment sales industry, the database question often comes down to a few key players, and it is not uncommon for a firm to narrow their search down to a handful of contenders. Two major contenders include Preqin and Dakota Marketplace.

We’ve said before that the word database has become almost taboo in our industry, and we think it’s wrongfully so

For that reason — and because we believe that building trust is the key to any new business partnership — we have no hesitations about giving an overview of the main differences and features between us and one of our competitors so that you can make the best decision based on what you’re looking to achieve for your business.

In fact, we have no problem pointing out that Preqin is a great partner that provide their users with the data they need to move their business forward.

This article will give you an overview of the structure of the databases, the ways in which the data gets updated, its target audience, the interface, as well as the price of each. If any of this information, like pricing, was not available on their website, we’ve left it off. 

By the end of this article, we hope you’ll feel more informed about your options, and feel empowered to make a database selection that’s right for your team. 


In their own words, Preqin helps firms keep up to date on market movements with comprehensive data on institutional investors, fund managers, and service providers, and for each fund and transaction across all major asset classes.

Size of the database: 

With over 35,000 firms, 65,000 funds, 18,000 investors, Preqin offers a robust dataset design for alternative investment professionals. 

Updates to and thoroughness of the data: 

Preqin makes over one million updates per year to the data within their system, and encourages a community approach to data upkeep, encouraging subscribers to point out any discrepancies they may find or know about, so that everyone benefits. The Preqin team uses a combination of global researchers as well as artificial intelligence to make sure their data is updated and accurate every day. 

Target Audience: 

Preqin’s primary customer is the alternative investment industry, including private equity, venture capital, hedge funds, private debt, real estate, infrastructure, natural resources, and secondaries.

Origin of the platform: 

Founded in 2003, Preqin was designed for the alternative investment industry.


Preqin offers a variety of options, including Preqin Pro and Preqin Insights, and the price varies depending on the needs of the user.


Preqin offers a simple, clean interface that allows users to perform searches across the tens of millions of lines of financial data. Searches can be done in multiple ways, including by keyword, location, activity, and more.          

Platform Descriptions: 

Preqin includes high-level descriptions of their audiences.

Additional Content: 

Preqin offers a variety of research and insights on their website as well as through premium publications.

Who is Preqin a good fit for?: 

Preqin is a good fit for a private manager that is focused on the institutional side, and who is not marketing to RIAs or MFOs.

Dakota Marketplace 

Dakota Marketplace is an institutional investor and RIA database created and maintained by the fundraising team at Dakota investments, who have used Marketplace to raise over $30B since 2006. At its core, Marketplace is a database that allows investment salespeople to quickly find the right contacts to reach out to schedule meetings.

Size of the database: 

With over 5,000 accounts and 18,000 contacts, Dakota Marketplace offers a focused subset of the overall investment sales landscape. 

Updates to and thoroughness of the data: 

Equipped with a team of fifteen database administrators and a variety of software platforms including LinkedIn Sales Navigator, Neverbounce, and Seamless, the Dakota team ensures that the data within Marketplace is constantly being updated and added to so that investment sales professionals always know who to call on. 

Target audience: 

Dakota Marketplace targets Investment sales professionals who want deep, granular insight into how allocators invest, how a platform is managed, and how investment decisions are made. Dakota Marketplace is focused on titles and asset class coverage areas.

Origin of the platform: 

Dakota was founded in 2006, and Marketplace was created in 2018 by a fundraising team that uses the data within Marketplace themselves every day. Because of this, by its very nature, the data is guaranteed to be as accurate and complete as possible — we know because we’re using it. 


A subscription to Dakota Marketplace is $13,500 per year for one user.


The Marketplace interface was designed with investment fundraisers in mind. The database is divided into metro areas and broken out further broken out by channels that reside in those metro areas. The details of each firm include the name, the contacts within that firm, as well as metro area, and AUM. 

Platform Descriptions: 

Dakota Marketplace offers detailed descriptions of every account within the database and is focused on what the investment sales professional needs and wants to know. 

Additional platform content: 

Dakota brings the Marketplace data to life with the bi-weekly Dakota Live! Call. Each week, the team hosts one primary call and one alternative investment call. During the calls, an allocator from within the Dakota Marketplace is featured in an interview during which they talk about their platforms so listeners can gain insight. The calls also profile a city every week and brings the database to life by giving listeners something to focus on in each city. 

Dakota Marketplace also offers daily Public Plan Notes, Searches, 13F information, and Manager Presentation to its members. 

Who is Marketplace a good fit for?: 

Dakota Marketplace is ideal for Investment sales professionals who are looking for a detailed look into accounts that allocate to outside managers. 

Things to consider when choosing an institutional investor database:

There are a few things to keep in mind when you’re researching an institutional investor database, and they usually come down to a few key questions. 

  1. What channels do you cover? (Consultants, RIAs, Banks, BD, Direct Pensions, Sub-advisory, etc.)
  2. What is your product structure? (Mutual Funds, Separate Account, LP, ETF, CIT, etc.)
  3. How much does it cost?

If you’re focused on selling within the alternative investment market, Preqin is probably the best fit. The prices of these two platforms vary by need, and are not immediately available on their respective websites. 

Finally, if you’re an investment sales professional looking for a laser-focused list of prospects to call on, Dakota Marketplace would be a great partner for your needs. 

While Preqin and Marketplace are two of the databases at the forefront of our minds, we also have a more comprehensive list of institutional investor databases for you to consider, so that you have the complete picture. 

We know that if you’re here, you already know the key benefits of an institutional investor database, but we have a quick list that might be helpful to share as you pitch the idea to the bigger team. 

Stop wasting time on prospecting and data administration and start setting up meaningful meetings today.

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