Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Smartsheet — Spreadsheets Reimagined — Lands $26 Million From Insight and Madrona

If your idea of collaborating with colleagues on a spreadsheet can be described as “emailing attachments,” you’ve probably wondered more than a few times if there was a faster and smoother way.

Collaboration tools are all the rage in office applications these days, and they come in many forms. There are platforms through which one can share and collaborate on many kinds of files. Box comes to mind. Then there are the cloud applications like Salesforce.com and Workday, all of which are collaborative. Social enterprise apps like Jive and Yammer are built expressly to encourage collaboration. Google Apps has recreated a solid set of core office applications, all accessible directly from a browser, and all of them allow multiple editors on documents.

Smartsheet is essentially a spreadsheet application that’s built for the age of the cloud. Entire sheets can be shared with colleagues, or you can share only granular bits of data, like the contents of a particular row. Sheets can be published to the Web, and are also accessible via mobile apps on iOS and Android. It integrates with Box, Salesforce, Google Drive and Amazon Web Services.

So far, it has a million customers, including companies as varied as ESPN, MetLife and Toshiba. Many of those just found Smartsheet and started using it for a particular project or task, and its use grew virally within those companies. One of them was Insight Venture Partners. And, of course, you know where this is going. In a moment worthy of a Victor Kiam, they liked it so much they’ve bought a piece of the company.

Insight announced today that it has led a $26 million investment in Smartsheet, along with Madrona Venture Partners. Ryan Hinkle, a principal at Insight, will join Smartsheet’s board of directors. The funding will go toward accelerating sales and marketing, and to kick software development efforts up a notch or two.


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik