Equals raises $16M Series A from A16Z to replace Excel
Today, we’re excited to share that we’ve raised a $16M Series A led by Andreessen Horowitz.
As part of a16z’s investment, General Partner Kristina Shen will be joining our Board. We’re also thrilled to welcome Tristan Handy, CEO of dbt, and April Underwood, former CPO at Slack, as new investors. This fundraising comes on the heels of the $6.6M seed round from David Sacks at Craft Ventures that we announced in July of 2022, bringing our total funding to $23M.
And while we’ve been gating access to the product to this point, today we’re excited to make it available to everyone for free.
Our mission at Equals is pretty simple: The best medium for analysis already exists — but it hasn’t been updated in 40 years to take advantage of other innovations in the way we work. Whenever we’ve had a big question about the future of our business (or even a small one), our go-to is to fire up a spreadsheet. Sure, we might eventually pop it into Tableau for visualization, but the core work? That’s still getting done in spreadsheets. That was true for us as the first employees at Intercom — and still true when we scaled that business to hundreds of millions in ARR.
So we were gratified (but maybe not surprised!) by the enthusiastic response when we launched over the summer. Countless folks lamented the same things we had: That for all the innovation in the space over the past decade (more BI tools, notebooks, and spreadsheet alternatives), they consistently miss the opportunities spreadsheets uniquely offer.
Today’s news is an exciting milestone for our company — it will enable us to execute our ambitious vision more rapidly, especially as we invest deeply in R&D. We’re most excited that it will position us to open up Equals to the world. The spreadsheet, after all, is pretty inclusive; there’s something to be said for a tool that’s ubiquitous in part because it *can* be used by everyone. That’s exactly the principle we’ve applied when building Equals.
But we’re just getting started. What we’re building is not easy. Taking on Excel — to put it bluntly — is a BIG build, as many folks were quick to point out when we first started the company. We’re not naive about the challenges ahead; there’s a reason why there isn’t another company building a full-blown spreadsheet intended to go after Excel’s core use case: analysis and financial modeling. Lots of folks are picking at the edges of Excel: the spreadsheet as a database, for example, or the spreadsheet as the project management tool.
As our investor and new board member, Kristina Shen, put it: “The past few years have been dominated by verticalized tools and bandaid solutions to Excel, but we’ve seen that in this space, that approach falls short. And as much as businesses still default to Excel or Sheets, those tools are showing their age. I’m energized by the evidence that horizontal platforms are back, and I believe Equals is poised to be the seminal company that reimagines the spreadsheet for the modern era. Obviously, the ambition required to take on Excel is massive, and there’s no better team than Equals to take this on.”
In just 20 months, we’ve made huge progress, and we’re incredibly excited for the journey ahead.