Data is everywhere inside organizations, and employees are increasingly trying to find ways to put it to work to improve business outcomes. Hex, a startup that wants to simplify how data scientists and other employees gather and share data, announced a $16 million Series A today. The round comes just a little over six months after the startup announced its $5.5 million seed round.
Today’s investment was led by Redpoint Ventures, with help from previous investors Amplify Partners, as well as Data Community Fund, Geometry, Operator Collective, Tokyo Black, Vandelay Ventures, XYZ Venture Capital and various unnamed industry angels. Hex has now raised a total of $21.5 million, according to the company.
The startup has not been sitting still since that seed round when it was offering a beta of its fledgling product. Today it has a more complete product, says CEO and co-founder Barry McCardel. “We just released an all new version we’re calling Hex 2.0 and it fundamentally changes the way a lot of data science workflows work,” he said.
As we described the tool at the time of the $5.5 million seed round in March:
Most data scientists work with their data in online notebooks like Jupyter, where they can build SQL queries and enter Python code to organize it, chart it and so forth. What Hex is doing is creating this super-charged notebook that lets you pull a data set from Snowflake or Amazon Redshift, work with and format the data in an easy way, then drag and drop components from the notebook page — maybe a chart or a data set — and very quickly build a kind of app that you can share with others.
Hex is going after established data science notebook tools like Jupyter, which McCardel acknowledges is popular, but comes with a lot of baggage. “So, traditionally code notebooks like Jupyter have been really popular, but they have major issues with reproducibility, interpretability and performance. These are pretty well known.” Hex 2.0 is designed to resolve those issues, he said.
Today they’ve got dozens of customers and are up from five employees at the time of the seed announcement to 18 today, with plans to get to around 24 by the end of the year. With a diverse founding team that includes CTO Caitlin Colgrove and Chief Architect Glen Takahashi, the company wants to build a company that reflects the diversity of that group.
“Building a diverse team is something we’ve put a lot of energy and intentionality into from day one. And for us it means making sure that every part of our recruiting process is set up to be as equitable as possible from sourcing to interviewing to the offer stage. And there’s a bunch of things we’ve done embracing distributed hiring and reaching out and partnering with diverse communities and trying to open up new opportunities,” he said.
The company also announced a partnership with dbt Labs, which is in the data transformation space, helping to take data stored in data warehouses like Snowflake and preparing it to be analyzed in a tool like Hex. The two companies will share several integrations to make it easier to work in either application without having to jump between them.