Startups

Observable lands $35.6M Series B funding to help organizations make better business decisions using data


Data-driven decision-making is core to the success of every business, yet there is not a single platform that connects across lines of business so data analysts and their executives can analyze and explore data together as a team. But that’s about to change.

Enter Observable, a San Franciso-based data analytics startup that provides a data visualization platform for developers, data scientists, journalists, and educators to explore, analyze, and visualize data on the web together. Observable enables users to create complex graphs, charts, and other visual representations of data. The platform empowers creators to further their learning through data visualization and gain deep insights.

Today, Observable announced it has raised a $35.6 million Series B funding round to support growth and continued platform innovation. The round was led by Menlo Ventures, with participation from existing investors Sequoia Capital and Acrew Capital. The latest funding brings the total raised by the company to $46.1 million.

Founded in 2016 by Mike Bostock, D3.js creator, and Melody Meckfessel, former VP of Engineering at Google, Observable is a collaborative, web-based platform for data practitioners and the decision-makers they empower. The startup helps teams at more than 150 organizations such as Stitch Fix, Trase, The Washington Post and MIT make better business decisions using data.

According to Observable’s State of Dataviz 2021 Report, data practitioners often use three or more tools to do their jobs, out of a possible landscape of more than 180 different tools. This “tool hopping” makes data-based work slow, error-prone and frustrating. Data scientists, data analysts, business and financial analysts, developers, business executives, and the estimated 750+ million Microsoft Excel and 800+million Google Sheets users need a new way to get their work done.

“Data is the world’s most powerful asset. We are building an environment where anyone can see and manipulate data to more fully understand and communicate the story it tells,” said Melody Meckfessel, CEO and co-founder. “Collaboration is at the center of work, whether it’s between teams at a multinational corporation or among our community of dataviz creators who are constantly building, sharing, and learning from each other. Observable is empowering millions of people to understand their data better, together.”

The Observable data canvas brings data, context, and logic together in one place so that data practitioners can accelerate data-driven insights and decision-making. Observable enables real-time, multi-player collaboration with transparent data interrogation.

There is no set-up cost or special tooling required; data practitioners simply open any browser and start working immediately from the extensive library of templates or code snippets, or reuse one of the thousands of examples created by the Observable community. Data practitioners can connect to their data from multiple sources including databases (such as Snowflake, BigQuery), and cloud-connected files (such as Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets). It is designed to support and work with building blocks such as D3.js, Observable Plot, and everything in between. Users can take their insights and charts where they want, like embedding them in React apps or other web environments.

Observable’s collaborative data canvases are built for and powered by a deeply engaged community of more than five million people engaged. Observable and its community has created the largest library of data visualizations for exploring and gaining insights. Together, this community is learning from and inspiring each other to create the future of collaborative data work.

An overview demo of Observable is available here and the company offers two paid product tiers to support teams within SMB and enterprise environments.

“The most promising enterprise tools are those that enable organizations to share and collaborate with information more freely,” said Matt Murphy, Partner at Menlo Ventures. “Observable marries data and visual communications to address a huge market need for enterprise-ready software that breaks organizational silos to drive stronger, more strategic, data-driven business decisions. We’re thrilled to back such an incredible team pioneering the next era of collaborative decision making.”

“The world is hungry for a better way to communicate using data,” said Jim Goetz, partner at Sequoia. “The Observable team – led by the top minds in data analytics and visualization – has driven incredible growth over the past year, proving they are poised to lead in this space.”




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