TradeVibes, which has up until now been operating in stealth mode, is soon-to-be-public wiki focused around company information. TradeVibes combines an informational wiki with a number of community features aimed at using the wisdom of the crowds to create a company database similar to Hoovers. Though the company is still in closed alpha testing, ReadWriteWeb readers can access the site through this invite link.
TradeVibes competes directly with TechCrunch's CrunchBase, which although it is not a wiki yet is planning to add full wiki functionality next month. Since it was founded by four early PayPal employees, is funded by Ron Conway, and based in Mountain View, California, TradeVibes naturally has an early focus on tech startups. Of the 594 companies currently listed in the database, 378 are in the "Consumer Internet" category, with another 78 in the "Business Internet" category (and "Communications and Networks" is the next most popular category). But unlike rival CrunchBase, TradeVibes has a broad focus and isn't limiting itself to tech companies.
In addition to the wiki, TradeVibes is trying to grow a community around its business information listings. Users are encouraged to discuss businesses in forums, rate whether they are "bearish" or "bullish" on specific companies, or submit news tied to companies listed in the database. News is voted on Digg-style and archived on the pages of companies it is associated with. Submitting news is sort of clumsy, as you have to pick the associated company from a drop down menu -- already a rather frustrating task with just 594 listings. But this is an alpha release, after all.
Each company listing has the expected fields: overview, industry and contact info, people, funding, products, competitors, and related companies. There is also sidebar content that is updated automatically including web metrics from Alexa, Yahoo!, and Technorati. I would love to see the site automatically pull content by keyword from Techmeme or include company blog feeds in these listings.
We have 250 invites available to ReadWriteWeb readers via a this invite link. Let us know what you think of TradeVibes in the comments.