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In the past decade, the modern data stack has become more extensive than you could ever imagine. We have data warehouses, data lakes, BI tools and other platforms that mobilize structured and unstructured data sets and help extract value from them.
But when it comes to analytics, most data users still crave Excel. While the specialized tooling currently available on the market enriches the surface from which data analysts and other business people work, it does not offer the simplicity of spreadsheets. It provides the best canvas for working with data, but the point is that it is 40 years old and was not built with current workflows or databases in mind.
Equals much-needed spreadsheet upgrade
To close this gap without sacrificing simplicity, it’s California-based equal to provides a solution that works just like a spreadsheet, but comes with built-in connections to corporate databases, versioning, and collaboration. The company today received $16 million in Series A led by Andreessen Horowitz.
“We are taking over Excel. There really isn’t any other company that builds a full-fledged spreadsheet meant to track Excel’s most important use case: analytics and financial modeling. A lot of people choose the fringes of Excel (e.g. Airtable, the spreadsheet as the database; or Smartsheets, Asana etc., the spreadsheet as the project management tool),” Bobby Pinero, CEO and co-founder of Equals told VentureBeat.
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When using Equals’ next-gen spreadsheet, a user can directly access their company’s data warehouse to link a database of their choice. They can then write SQL queries or use a visual editor to enable quick analysis of the connected data – right in the spreadsheet. The offering also retrieves live data and provides query scheduling capabilities so that the data is updated without manual intervention. And, most importantly, all of this works while retaining the same features of Excel. For example, if an analyst pulled day-by-day digital engagement data from two sources, you could use the sum function to add those two columns together and produce the total engagement value for each day in a third column.
“The past few years have been dominated by vertical tools and patching solutions for Excel, but we’ve seen that approach fall short in this space. And while companies still use Excel or Spreadsheets by default, those tools are showing their age,” said Kristina Shen, general partner at a16z. “I’m energized by the evidence that horizontal platforms are back, and I believe Equals is poised to become the pioneering company reinventing the spreadsheet for the modern era. Clearly the ambition required to take on Excel is huge, and there is no better team than Equals to take it on.”
Since its launch in 2021, the company has been adopted by thousands of customers, including Notion, Zeta and Levity.
With this funding round, which also included Craft Ventures, Box Group, Worklife and Combine, Equals plans to expand its R&D team and open its platform to the masses with a freemium offering. The platform’s paid subscription costs about $18 per month per editor and offers connections to Postgres, Snowflake, Google Analytics, Salesforce, Amazon Redshift, and more. Custom integrations are only offered as part of the business plan that is specifically tailored to business needs.
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