equal to, a New York-based startup aspiring to challenge Excel’s dominance with a supercharged spreadsheet, today announced that it has raised $16 million in a Series A funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), with participating from Craft Ventures, Box Group, Worklife and Combine. Equals, co-founded by Ben McRedmond and Bobby Pinero, two former Intercom employees, claims its spreadsheet is one of the few with built-in connections to databases, versioning, and collaboration features.
Equals isn’t the first startup on a mission to destroy the traditional spreadsheet. There’s Airtable, of course, plus upstarts like Spreadsheet.com, Actiondesk, and Pigment — the latter of which raised $73 million last November for its data analysis and visualization service. But Pinero, the CEO of Equal, claims that Equals is unique in that it doesn’t replace the spreadsheet, but includes additional tools, such as live data integrations.
“Equals comes from a very simple and clear understanding: that the spreadsheet is the best way to do analytics,” Pinero told gotechbusiness.com in an email interview. “Excel was built almost 40 years ago. Google Sheets 16 years ago. The way companies operate today is fundamentally different. Our data is much more accessible. We should automate much of the painful manual work of getting data into a spreadsheet. And we’ve learned so much over the past decade about how teams can work better together. A spreadsheet should contain those lessons. That’s right.”
Customers can tap Equals to create analytics with real-time data directly from a database or data warehouse, with or without follow-up query language. It supports standard formulas and provides templates for common use cases, such as tracking recurring revenue and measuring user engagement.
“Equals presents a huge opportunity for business stakeholders – usually people neglected to get their own data – to access data. To work with data in a tool, they are familiar and already know how to use it: a spreadsheet “No more manual spreadsheets that take hours to manually update across the team. No more dumping data from BI tools into spreadsheets for analysis.”
That’s promising, but Pinero is well aware of the hurdles ahead. He doesn’t expect Equals with 10 employees to be profitable for a while – the proceeds from Series A will largely go to R&D, he says; Equals has raised $23 million so far – and the platform will remain on a waiting list in anticipation of the next major product release. Pinero claims that “thousands” of people have signed up so far.
“It speaks to the excitement and traction with Equals that we have been able to raise a significant Series A in this market. At our current brand, we have over eight years of runway,” said Pinero. “We are very well positioned to survive this downturn, however long it lasts. As the saying goes, generation companies are being built during this downturn, and we intend to make Equals one of those.”