Tag Archives: spreadsheets

It seems eXpresso is having more competition than we thought

A couple of days ago when we wrote about a tiny start-up that raised venture capital for an online collaboration tool built around Microsoft Excel we did not fully realize how crowded the market is. Today Mashable has put up a very nice and comprehensive list of all things spreadsheet – or in other words 14 online spreadsheet applications, eXpresso among them. Nice thumbnails are taken on any of the sites below and can be seen on Mashable. 

BadBlue.com – Features free personal accounts or paid enterprise class services for sharing Excel spreadsheets over the web.

Blist.com – Still in private beta, and here is the Mashable’s detailed write-up on what you can expect from this new spreadsheet app.

EditGrid.com – You can upload your existing spreadsheets, start new ones, and share & collaborate with friends and colleague.

Google Docs – No list of online spreadsheet apps would be complete without the ubiquitous mention of Google Docs. It feels, and looks, a lot like Microsoft Excel and is easily shareable with others.

InputWebWizard.com – Works your spreadsheets with a database so all of your data is stored in a SQL database. System is set to help you develop web apps, but still seems a bit pricey at $499 a month.

JotSpot – Import and Export with Excel, copy-and-paste from Excel, share the documents, even use hyperlinks and attach files.

Numbler.com – A plain, straightforward, collaborative spreadsheet application.

NumSum.com – A more social spreadsheet app where you can leave your work totally open if you choose and allow others to comment on it.

Peepel.com – Import your Excel spreadsheets, work with multiple documents in the same browser window, get an RSS feed of the latest changes to collaborative documents and more.

Sheetster.com – Has the normal online spreadsheet features such as collaboration, but also offers blog embedding options.

Simple Spreadsheet – An open source project that is part of the Simple Groupware Solutions project. Free to use and 100% web based.

ThinkFreeDocs.com – For now, you can not edit uploaded spreadsheets via the site, but they are working on it. Upload what you have and share it.

Zoho Sheet – Part of the Zoho suite of online office applications, Sheet will allow you to import and export with Excel, collaborate with others, and even do quick “throwaway” sheets if you just need to scratch something out.

An online collaboration tool built around Microsoft Excel took $2M, plans for $2M more

eXpresso, an online collaboration tool around Excel spreadsheets, has raised $2M round of financing from Novus and Rocket Ventures. This is on top of another couple of millions they’ve made off the sale of their original product, Smart DB, to Rocket Software (no relation to the VC firm). The money will be put towards expanding their current Excel product and building an online Powerpoint application due out next summer as well. The company has also announced they have plans to raise $2M more at the near future.

Expresso Corp is bringing new capabilities to Microsoft Excel. Using their software users can manage, compare and collaborate on Excel documents – features that Microsoft surprisingly hasn’t added on their own.

eXpresso is built upon AJAX functionality and combines a series of collaboration tools and back-end database wrapped around Microsoft’s own online spreadsheet editor, Microsoft Excel Web Component. The company seems oddly positioned by leaning heavily on Microsoft’s technology, but CEO George Langan points out that they can continue to develop the component without Microsoft’s support, or disturbance, and have a great deal of patented intellectual properties in the database system they run on. On the other side Microsoft has abandoned the technology themselves, announcing an end to development of the Office Web Components. Instead, they are focusing on developing new technologies around Microsoft Sharepoint. So, will Microsoft consider buying them or will just copy/cat their features and functionalities or is Microsoft heading towards different direction and will leave eXpresso behind? Let’s put it that way it has never been good to have your business model built upon and relying on third party company’s technology, service or solution.

However, the spreadsheet editor works smoothly, provides a familiar interface, and brings most of the Excel’s desktop functionality online. You can edit cells, add formulas, sort, filter, and format. Google and Zoho have been aggressively adding a lot of these features themselves, but support auto-fill and charts as well. eXpresso also offers more applications. You can create a new file from within the program or sync one directly from Excel using their plug-in. eXpresso also offers file permissions (down to cell ranges), enables real time chat, and file management (version control, spreadsheet comparison). It’s currently free in beta, but will cost $10 or less per user when it’s finally released.

More about eXpresso

eXpresso is led by an experienced team with decades of collective experience in data management, and enterprise software applications. eXpresso’s team comprises Founders and Corporate Executives who have successfully developed and delivered award-winning business solutions for Fortune 500 companies.

About eXpresso Spreadsheet Communities
Microsoft’s Excel spreadsheet application is one of the most popular on the planet. Millions of people use Excel on a weekly – or even daily – basis for simple personal tasks as well as for enterprise-critical functions such as managing supply chains, reporting corporate finance, or complying with regulatory requirements. eXpresso is a hosted workspace for real-time Excel collaboration in secure, structured communities. eXpresso brings sophisticated spreadsheet version management, comparison and collaboration capabilities to the world’s standard data interchange solution.

What can you do with eXpresso Spreadsheet Communities?

  • Upload, securely store and organize your Excel spreadsheets online
  • Authorize colleagues to view or edit your spreadsheets anytime from anywhere
  • Have a virtual meeting where invitees simultaneously view or edit Excel
  • Take advantage of powerful eXpresso features like group chat, email, alerts, and audit trails
  • Visually compare two or more spreadsheets for cell or formula changes.

eXpresso does compete with other services such as Google Spreadsheets, Zoho Sheet and XCellery. Investors include Individuals Venture Fund, Novus Ventures and Rocket Ventures. As we learned Xcellery has joined eXpresso and here is what the press releases said: “As a startup, Xcellery was committed to finding a better way for people to share and use Excel spreadsheets online. eXpresso has taken that idea to a new level of power and convenience, which is why we can wholeheartedly recommend that Xcellery users adopt eXpresso.”

eXpresso has won a number of industry awards and recognitions. 

eXpresso was honored with InfoWorld’s 2008 Technology of the Year Award: “These Technology of the Year award winners represent the best business process management system, best enterprise service bus, best database middleware, and the best SaaS collaboration and community platforms we tested in 2007.” eXpresso was also among The 2008 PC World 25 Most Innovative Products.