UPDATED 16:25 EDT / JULY 08 2021


Coda raises $100M at $1.4B valuation to unify documents and spreadsheets

Coda Project Inc. has closed a late-stage $100 million funding round at a $1.4 billion valuation to grow the number of companies using its cloud-based document editor, which combines the features of a word processor and a spreadsheet editor in a single interface.

The Series D round was announced this morning. It was led by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, a fund that manages over $150 billion in assets and counts SpaceX Corp. among its portfolio companies.

Coda is the latest in a string of productivity startups that have raised capital at unicorn valuations recently. The strong investor demand hints that such startups are winning over a significant number of users from the market’s more established platforms. 

Coda competes with productivity suites such as Google Workplace and Microsoft 365. Such product suites usually provide separate applications for editing documents and spreadsheets: Microsoft 365 customers, for example, use Word to create documents and Excel to edit spreadsheets. Coda says that its platform enables users to create both types of content in the same interface instead of using separate tools.

A document created in Coda can contain text or spreadsheet tables, as well as both if needed. A software company could create a document that includes a several-page overview of the business strategy behind a new application it’s developing, as well as accompanying spreadsheet tables describing key features.

Coda also makes it possible to add in other types of elements. Users can embed a to-do list that displays outstanding tasks, like upcoming application features on the development team’s agenda, and shows detailed information about each task. It’s also possible to add timelines and automation buttons that perform certain actions when clicked, like sending an email to the software team lead when a feature is ready to release.

Coda provides yet more customization options via integrations called Packs that allow users to connect to external applications. The startup’s Shopify Pack, for example, allows an e-commerce company to embed product listings from its catalog into a document. Another integration, for GitHub, enables software teams to track the pace of development projects.

Coda argues that centralizing different types of content that are normally scattered across multiple files in one place improves productivity. Plus, the startup says that its platform can double as a web publishing  platform. There’s a feature that allows users to turn documents they create in Coda into web pages, which the startup positions as a convenient way of extending a company’s corporate website.

The New York Times, Uber Technologies Inc. and DoorDash Inc. are among the customers using Coda’s platform to create documents. Using its newly closed $100 million funding round, the startup will work to expand its customer base. The startup is planning to double its headcount to support the effort and, in the interest of making its platform’s feature set more competitive, will build more Packs for integrating with external services.

Coda may also expand its platform’s automation features while at it. Over the last few years, several other players in the productivity market including Atlassian Corp. Plc. and Asana Inc. have added new workflow automation tools to their platforms to streamline repetitive tasks such as syncing data between documents. 

The core concept behind Coda’s platform, of combining multiple types of content in a single document, is also gaining steam among certain competitors. Google LLC recently introduced the ability to embed checklists and spreadsheet-like tables for tracking project milestones into Google Docs. Dropbox Inc., meanwhile, offers Paper, a document editor that likewise enables users to combine text, spreadsheet tables and other elements in a single file.

Startups with cloud tools that promise to streamline document-based workflows have garnered significant investor interest in recent years. Airtable Inc., which provides a customizable spreadsheet editor with built-in task automation features, recently raised $270 million at a $5.7 billion valuation. ClickUp, formally known as Mango Technologies Inc., last December raised $100 million at a reported $1 billion valuation to widen the adoption of its document editing and project management platform.

Image: Coda

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