AI Business Consultant

ChatGPT and Large Language Models Benefits and Limits for the Investment Analysis of Private Companies

9 June, 2024

Investment due diligence is an essential, albeit complex, component of making informed decisions about private firms. Traditionally, this process has been labor-intensive, requiring in-depth analysis of financial performance, legal compliance, market positioning, management capability, and reputation. Recently, advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) have introduced tools like ChatGPT that promise to streamline this process. However, the efficacy of these tools in private firm investment analysis remains a subject of debate due to several inherent limitations. This article explores the benefits and limitations of ChatGPT and other large language models (LLMs) in the context of private firm investment analysis, offering a balanced perspective rooted in recent research and practical examples.

The Rise of AI in Investment Due Diligence

AI models, such as ChatGPT, developed by OpenAI, are designed to perform tasks that typically require human intelligence. These include natural language processing, pattern recognition, and data analysis. ChatGPT, built on the Generative Pre-trained Transformer 4 (GPT-4) architecture, can generate human-like text responses, making it a valuable tool for automating parts of the due diligence process.

AI's potential in due diligence is vast. It can quickly process and analyze large volumes of structured and unstructured data from sources such as SEC filings, social media posts, and news articles. For instance, sentiment analysis can extract insights from these data points, identifying potential risks and opportunities that might not be immediately evident through traditional methods.

Challenges in Evaluating Private Firms

Despite its capabilities, AI faces significant challenges when applied to private firm analysis. Private firms are not subject to the same disclosure requirements as public companies, leading to a scarcity of standardized and comprehensive data. Furthermore, private markets are often opaque and dynamic, with complex ownership structures and unique valuation metrics that are difficult for AI models to navigate.

Data Availability and Standardization

Private firms often have less publicly available data compared to public companies. For example, Regulation A (Reg A) and Regulation Crowdfunding (Reg CF) companies disclose limited information, which is not always standardized. This inconsistency complicates comparative analysis across different firms.

Complex Market Dynamics

The private market's evolving nature presents another hurdle. AI models may struggle to keep up with real-time changes in market conditions and competitive pressures. Additionally, they may lack the domain-specific knowledge required to interpret industry-specific jargon and complex financial structures accurately.

Benefits of Using ChatGPT in Investment Analysis

Despite these challenges, ChatGPT and similar models offer several benefits that can enhance the due diligence process when used appropriately.

Speed and Efficiency

ChatGPT can process large datasets rapidly, significantly reducing the time required for initial data gathering. For instance, it can quickly summarize vast amounts of text from financial reports, news articles, and social media, providing a broad overview of a firm's public perception and financial health. Consider the case of a private equity firm evaluating a tech startup. Using ChatGPT, the firm could swiftly compile and summarize customer reviews from multiple online platforms, revealing key insights about product satisfaction and market reception.

Pattern Recognition

Machine learning algorithms can identify patterns and trends within the data that may not be immediately apparent to human analysts. For example, sentiment analysis of social media posts can reveal public opinion trends that might impact a firm's reputation and market positioning. An example is the analysis of Twitter sentiment regarding a private pharmaceutical company. ChatGPT could detect a surge in positive mentions following a successful clinical trial announcement, signaling potential growth in investor interest.


By automating routine data analysis tasks, AI can reduce the costs associated with due diligence. This is particularly beneficial for small to mid-sized investment firms that may not have extensive resources for comprehensive analysis. A venture capital firm, for example, might use ChatGPT to perform preliminary assessments of numerous startups, filtering out less promising candidates and focusing human resources on the most viable options.

Real-Life Examples

To further illustrate the potential and limitations of AI in private firm analysis, consider the following real-life examples:

Sentiment Analysis in Consumer Goods

A venture capital firm considering an investment in a private consumer goods company used ChatGPT to analyze social media sentiment. The AI revealed a trend of increasing customer dissatisfaction due to recent product quality issues. This insight, initially overlooked in financial statements, prompted the firm to investigate further. The investigation uncovered underlying supply chain problems, leading to a decision to negotiate better investment terms or potentially reconsider the investment.

Predictive Analytics in Healthcare Startups

An AI-driven analysis of a private healthcare startup's online presence showed a high volume of positive feedback from medical professionals and patients. However, the AI also flagged concerns about regulatory compliance based on subtle cues in industry-specific forums. These insights led the investment firm to conduct a deeper regulatory due diligence, ultimately confirming that the startup had pending regulatory approvals that were crucial for its market entry. This comprehensive approach helped the firm avoid a premature investment decision.

Hypotheses and Examples

To illustrate the potential and limitations of AI in private firm analysis, consider the following hypotheses:

Hypothesis 1. AI models can accurately predict the financial health of private firms using available unstructured data.

Consider the following Example. An AI model analyzes social media sentiment and customer reviews to predict a private retail firm's sales performance. While it identifies a positive trend correlating with increased sales, the lack of detailed financial disclosures limits the accuracy of its predictions.

Hypothesis 2. Combining AI with traditional financial analysis methods yields better investment insights than either approach alone.

Consider the Example. A venture capital firm uses ChatGPT to process initial data and identify potential investment opportunities. It then employs traditional financial analysts to delve deeper into shortlisted firms, verifying AI-generated insights and providing context-specific expertise. This hybrid approach maximizes efficiency while ensuring thorough due diligence.

Overcoming AI Limitations

To leverage AI effectively in private firm investment analysis, it is crucial to address its limitations by integrating it with other due diligence methods.

Human Expertise

AI should complement, not replace, human analysts. Experts with industry-specific knowledge can interpret AI-generated insights, providing context and identifying nuances that the models might miss.

Data Integration

Combining AI with reliable data sources like the SEC's EDGAR system ensures that AI models have access to accurate and verified information. Additionally, integrating structured and unstructured data sources can provide a more comprehensive view of a firm's health and prospects.

Advanced Analytical Techniques

Employing techniques such as sentiment analysis, network analysis, and predictive modeling can enhance the depth and accuracy of AI-driven analyses. For example, network analysis can map the relationships between different stakeholders, revealing potential conflicts of interest or dependencies that could impact a firm's stability.


While AI models like ChatGPT offer promising tools for enhancing private firm investment analysis, they are not without their limitations. The key to effective due diligence lies in a balanced approach that leverages the strengths of AI—speed, efficiency, and pattern recognition—while mitigating its weaknesses through human expertise and comprehensive data integration. As AI technology continues to evolve, its role in investment analysis will undoubtedly expand, offering new opportunities for investors willing to adapt and innovate.

By understanding both the potential and the constraints of AI in private firm analysis, investors can make more informed decisions, ultimately enhancing their chances of success in the complex and dynamic private market landscape.

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