While working at Sidewalk Labs, Alphabet’s venture for building tech-forward cities, Douwe Osinga and Jack Amadeo realized that traditional spreadsheet software falls short when handling modern data challenges. Data science tools like Pandas and Jupyter Notebooks are more powerful but often remain inaccessible to the average user. This insight inspired the creation of Neptyne, an innovative app designed to help users program spreadsheets without learning how to code, thanks to its AI assistant.
Redefining Spreadsheets for the Modern Era
Osinga and Amadeo’s Neptyne, a member of the Y Combinator winter 2023 class, recently closed a $2 million pre-seed round backed by Y Combinator and prominent angel investors like Google AI lead Jeff Dean and Google Maps co-founder Lars Rasmussen. Neptyne joins a growing list of startups aiming to transform traditional spreadsheets, such as Airtable, Spreadsheet.com, Actiondesk, Pigment, and Equals.
What sets Neptyne apart is its Python-based spreadsheet engine, which provides access to the popular programming language frequently used in data science. Users can leverage Python’s extensive ecosystem, including libraries, frameworks, and tools, within Neptyne’s spreadsheet environment.
AI-Powered Spreadsheets for Enhanced Collaboration
According to Osinga, advanced language models, like OpenAI’s GPT-4, excel at writing Python code. Neptyne’s Python-based foundation allows the AI to do more than just write formulas or visualize data; it facilitates a dialogue between users and the AI assistant to modify and manipulate the spreadsheet application.
For instance, if a user has a pivot table built with Pandas, they can ask Neptyne’s AI assistant to modify the table’s calculations, such as including or excluding specific products or changing the grouping criteria. Neptyne updates these calculations in real time, enabling users to explore various options effortlessly.
Simplifying Complex Data Tools
Neptyne’s AI integrations aim to eliminate the limitations of conventional spreadsheets and significantly reduce the complexity of using advanced data tools. However, as a pre-revenue company that hasn’t disclosed its customer base, Neptyne’s success remains to be seen. Osinga is optimistic about the company’s growth and plans to hire six additional employees to expand Neptyne’s current team of four.
By blending the power of Python and AI, Neptyne offers a promising solution for data scientists and analysts who need more sophisticated tools than traditional spreadsheets. As the company grows and develops, its innovative approach has the potential to transform the way data-driven professionals work with spreadsheets in the future.