Revolutionizing the Spreadsheet: How Quadratic is Redefining Data Analysis

“Building data models is best done in Python, but many of my team members only understood spreadsheets,” Kircos told TechCrunch. “Quadratic is on a mission to build the best tool for understanding data,” Kircos said. “Quadratic is a brand-new type of spreadsheet, not an Excel clone,” Kircos said. There’s Sourcetable, whose headlining features include real-time document collaboration, data syncing with business apps and an editor for querying large data sets. Neptyne, which launched in March 2023, is building a Python-powered spreadsheet targeting data scientists.

Many people tend to overlook the power of a simple spreadsheet. However, in today’s world, where data is essential for success, spreadsheets have become an indispensable tool for data teams.

Entrepreneur David Kircos is no stranger to this fact. As a former member of the Techstars accelerator program, Kircos spent hours building financial models for startups using spreadsheets.

“Building data models is best done in Python, but many of my team members only understood spreadsheets,” Kircos shared with TechCrunch. “So I built code to generate spreadsheets. This was painful; I was spending about 10% of my time on valuable analysis and 90% on building infrastructure and pipelines to generate reports.”

His experience at Techstars led Kircos, who previously founded and sold a fintech firm called Challenger, to create Quadratic – a startup that launches out of stealth this week. Together with co-founder Peter Mills, Kircos developed Quadratic as “a spreadsheet that speaks Python and other programming languages natively.” This allows data analysts and developers to communicate with their teams and organization using a tool that most people are familiar with – spreadsheets.

“Our mission at Quadratic is to build the best tool for understanding data,” Kircos explained. “It’s a platform that allows users to pull data from various sources – such as software-as-a-service platforms, databases, CSV files, and APIs – and analyze it using popular data science tools like Python, Pandas, SQL, JavaScript, and Excel formulas.”

With Quadratic, users can bring in large sets of data, write analyses using their preferred programming language, and share the results with others. The platform offers designated workspaces for teams, supports charts and plug-ins, and allows for real-time collaboration.

“Quadratic is not just another Excel clone,” Kircos emphasized. “We strongly believe in the power of spreadsheets as the primary interface for working with data, but traditional spreadsheets are no longer enough.”

While many companies have attempted to disrupt the spreadsheet market to varying degrees of success, Kircos did not name any specific competitors when asked.

“There’s Sourcetable, Neptyne, Coefficient, Actiondesk, and Equals – all trying to achieve the same goal of disrupting spreadsheets,” Kircos acknowledged. “But what sets Quadratic apart is our focus on performance, thanks to our underlying engine built on Rust and WebGL, and our support for individual and educational use at no cost. Only businesses and teams have to pay for access.”

The open-source project, with six full-time contributors and 18 in total, has gained over 45,000 users to date. Recently, Quadratic raised $5.6 million in seed funding from GV (Google’s venture division), Catapult Ventures, Betaworks, The Fund Rockies, and angel investors, including Wes McKinney, the creator of Pandas, Amjad Masad, CEO of Repit, and Spencer Kimball, founder of Cockroack Labs. The capital will go toward expanding the team and acquiring new customers, according to Kircos.

So the next time you open a spreadsheet, think about the possibilities it holds beyond basic calculations and data entry. With Quadratic, spreadsheets become a powerful tool for understanding complex data and collaborating with others to make informed decisions.

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Dylan Williams

Dylan Williams is a multimedia storyteller with a background in video production and graphic design. He has a knack for finding and sharing unique and visually striking stories from around the world.

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