VisiCalc, the first computer-based spreadsheet, was launched in 1979. For the first time, this brought data analysis and computing together, in a way thousands of times more powerful than pen and paper. While VisiCalc is no longer around, the category and interface it created – the spreadsheet – endured and is now the standard for data analysis at companies of all sizes.
However, the world has changed dramatically since 1979. Data no longer lives in the spreadsheet. It’s generated and stored in the hundreds of SaaS tools used daily by each organization. For example, creating a model to analyze your sales funnel can require pulling data from Google Analytics, Salesforce, Segment, and Stripe. Similarly, creating a cash burn model requires pulling data from Plaid. To import this data into a spreadsheet, however, you either “copy-paste” or hack together numerous CSV files.
Data in the spreadsheet remains static, stale, and disconnected.
While many organizations have invested in powerful data stacks to unify and make sense of all this disparate data, many teams still fall back on spreadsheets to answer questions about the business. Why is this? It’s because the spreadsheet remains one of the best interfaces for data analysis and exploration. It’s a flexible canvas that can be easily adapted to any scenario or business, and it’s easily understood by everyone.
So what would a spreadsheet look like if it was built today? The answer is Equals, a browser-based spreadsheet with built-in integrations to any database, versioning, and collaboration.
Equals empowers users to seamlessly pull in data from connected data sources directly in the spreadsheet. Before Equals, business users relied on the whim of data teams, resulting in inefficient data requests, significant time lost, and errors. Today, Equals has democratized access to data by building direct connectors to data warehouses (Snowflake, Redshift, and BigQuery), business software (Plaid, Stripe, Google Analytics, Salesforce, and QuickBooks) as well as SQL databases (PostgreSQL, MySQL), and there’s a lot more coming. Additionally, everything about the spreadsheet itself works exactly like Excel. Formulas and core features like conditional formatting, pivot tables, and others are all familiar. This enables users to create dynamic and real-time analyses without needing to learn a new tool or leave the spreadsheet.
We’ve had the privilege of knowing Bobby Pinero and Ben McRedmond for 10 years, and firmly believe there is no better team to rebuild the spreadsheet than Equals. Both Bobby and Ben were early Intercom employees who ran Finance and Growth, respectively. Together, they helped scale Intercom from the early days to $150M+ ARR and built almost every analysis imaginable in Excel. Their ambition to build a modern spreadsheet is unwavering and infectious.
We’re thrilled to be partnering with Ben, Bobby, and the team, and to lead Equals’s $16 million Series A. We believe Equals will pull spreadsheets into the 21st century and democratize data analysis.