Equals, a New York-based startup that ambitiously aims to challenge Excel’s dominance with an enhanced spreadsheet, announced today that it has raised $ 16 million in a Series A funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) , with the participation of Craft Ventures, Box Group, Worklife and unite. Co-founded by Ben McRedmond and Bobby Pinero, two former Intercom employees, Equals says its spreadsheet is one of the few with built-in database connections, versioning and collaboration features.

Equals isn’t the first startup on a mission to do away with the traditional spreadsheet. There’s Airtable, of course, as well as newcomers like Spreadsheet.com, Actiondesk, and Pigment, the latter of which raised $ 73 million last November for its data analytics and visualization service. But Pinero, CEO of Equal, says Equals is unique in that it doesn’t so much replace the spreadsheet as it incorporates additional tools, such as real-time data integrations.

“Equals comes from a really simple and obvious insight: that the spreadsheet is the best way to do analysis,” Pinero told TechCrunch in an email interview. “Excel was built almost 40 years ago. Google Sheets 16 years ago. The way companies work today is significantly different. Our data is much more accessible. We should be automating much of the painful manual work of entering data into a spreadsheet. And we’ve learned so much about how teams collaborate best over the past decade. A spreadsheet should incorporate those learnings. This is the same.

Customers can tap Equals to create analytics with real-time data directly from a database or data warehouse, with or without using the next query language. It supports standard formulas and offers templates for common use cases, such as tracking recurring revenue and measuring user engagement.

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Equals will soon be able to import scripts to allow users to connect spreadsheets to various internal APIs and tools with JavaScript or Python. Pivot tables and connectors for business intelligence apps from Salesforce, QuickBooks, Stripe, and Google Analytics are also on the way.

“Equals represents a huge opportunity for business stakeholders to gain access to data, typically people who are unable to obtain their own data. To be able to work with data in a tool that they are comfortable with and already know how to use: a spreadsheet, ”said Pinero. “No more manual spreadsheets that take hours to manually update the whole team. You no longer have to download data from BI tools into spreadsheets for analysis.

It is a lot to promise, but Pinero is well aware of the obstacles that lie ahead. He doesn’t expect Equals to 10 employees to be profitable for a while: the proceeds from Serie A will go mainly to research and development, he says; Equals has raised $ 23 million to date and the platform will remain stuck behind a waiting list pending the next major release of the product. Pinero claims that “thousands” of people have signed up so far.

“It speaks to the excitement and traction with Equals that in this market we have been able to garner a significant Serie A. At our current burn, we have more than eight years of track,” Pinero said. “We are very well positioned to survive this downturn, however long it may last. As they say, generational societies are being built during these downturns and we plan to make Equals one of them. “

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