Grid, an Iceland-based SaaS startup that lets you turn spreadsheets into visual “narratives”, has closed $ 12 million in Series A funding.
The round will be led by New Enterprise Associates (NEA) with the participation of existing investors BlueYard Capital, Slack Fund, Acequia Capital and other undisclosed "strategic" partners. The capital injection is used by the company to bring its product to market and continue product development.
Grid was founded at the end of 2018 by Hjalmar Gislason, who was previously behind DataMarket, a pioneer in the field of "Data-as-a-Service". The aim is to change the way knowledge workers interact with data, starting with spreadsheets. With SaaS, which opens in beta today, you can turn spreadsheet workbooks into visual and interactive Web sites so that the data they contain can be better communicated to different audiences.
"Grid gives the everyday spreadsheet user the ability to easily create visual and interactive narratives on existing spreadsheets and share them securely over the Internet," explains Gislason.
“Most data tools, even the most accessible self-service tools, are power-user tools. That means it takes time and focused effort to learn how to use them and the people who become the point of contact in their organizations when it comes to analytics, data-driven decisions, and data narration. The tool that everyone else uses to do things in their daily work is the table. "
Gislason sums up the initial problem that the startup focuses on as the moment when someone has gathered data or created a model in a table and it now needs to communicate with someone else. “The most common method to date is to attach an Excel file to an email. In this way, the spreadsheet author gives up control of the spreadsheet, how it is read and redistributed, ”he says.
In addition, it is painful to consume this content on mobile devices and it is difficult to ensure that everyone has the latest version. Sharing spreadsheets in the cloud is an improvement, but far from optimal.
To overcome this, users typically copy charts and tables from spreadsheets into PowerPoints and PDFs and distribute them as static artifacts. This solves the control problem, but it is difficult to build and maintain as the presentation is separated from the underlying data and models ”. Grid wants to change that.
During the private beta phase of Grid, there were two key use cases at launch. The first was a model presentation, e.g. For example, a consultant or business analyst who has created a spreadsheet model and needs to communicate how the inputs will affect the results. The second is reporting, where the grid is used by anyone who needs to regularly report data that they have summarized in a table.
"And that's a lot of people!" adds Gislason. “Our users like the combination of text and data visualization that Grid offers and the fact that the Grid documents are directly linked to the underlying workbooks, so any change in the workbook, even in a local Excel file, is instant The online report is reflected in the grid file.