Observable Launches With $10.5 Million Series A Funding

Observable—the destination for data visualization—is launching for developers, data scientists, journalists, educators, and more to explore, analyze and visualize data on the web, together. Until now, there hasn’t been a place on the web where people can code, collaborate, and share insights with the world. Observable has raised its $10.5M Series A funding led by Sequoia Capital and Acrew Capital.

Observable’s platform was founded by recognized leaders in the data visualization and developer space. Chief Technology Officer Mike Bostock created D3.js, the popular open-source library for data visualization, and was previously a Graphics Editor at The New York Times. Chief Executive Officer Melody Meckfessel, former VP Engineering at Google, led large scale data and developer teams deliver successful outcomes for millions of users, instilling a passion around data innovation. Together, they’re helping everyone make sense of the world with data.

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With more than 4.7M users who have engaged on its platform, Observable has powered major data stories on topics from elections, to COVID-19, to wildfire air quality. And Observable is helping organizations make better decisions with data, including teams at Stitch Fix and classes at MIT that are working in Observable every day.

“We are all experiencing the growth of data in the world. It’s overwhelming. Making sense of it is the biggest challenge facing our connected world,” said Meckfessel, “We believe working with data is an essential skill for everyone. Observable is here to help. It’s the first platform that allows anyone—from developers to academics to hobbyists—to explore and visualize data online together. We created Observable to help people from all different backgrounds become inspired, learn from each other and make sense of data.”

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With its web-first, interactive platform, Observable is democratizing data literacy and supporting those who want to understand and visualize data transparently in real time. The platform empowers creators to further their learning through data visualization and, ultimately, gain deeper insights. To support its users, Observable has the largest library of reusable visualizations anywhere. Built for JavaScript and D3.js, Observable’s platform:

  • Enables Expressive Visualizations: Design is as important as data. Observable prioritizes rich, expressive visualizations.
  • Is Web-first: Moving to the web means people working together. This is the first time it is possible to do this work in a browser.
  • Is Interactive: Always-live, always-editable with data flow like a spreadsheet.
  • Is Transparent: Click open any cell to see raw inputs, check assumptions, and see how it works. Maximize insights and minimize risk.
  • Is Collaborative: Anyone can collaborate in real time. You can fork, suggest, import, merge, and more.

“Melody and Mike are a dream team positioned to reinvent visualization. Melody’s gifts in leading the developer community with simplicity and Mike’s linguistic design thinking for visualization combine the best of both worlds,” said Jim Goetz, partner at Sequoia and Observable board member. “Ultimately, Melody, Mike and the Observable team are bringing data exploration and visualization to the web, making it more accessible, collaborative and effective.”

Observable reimagines data visualization for the connected world, making it more approachable and social. In a world where more than 76% of the global workforce is not fully confident in the ability to read, work with, analyze and argue with data, Observable is committed to make working with data engaging, transparent, and accessible to all.

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