Spreadsheets (2+2) Ever = Tiller Personal Finance Startup Finds Growth Formula in Microsoft Excel – GeekWire

Tiller automatically populates spreadsheets with data from financial institutions. (Tiller photo)

Eight Years Ago, Seattle Area Entrepreneur Peter Polson Inspired by the increasingly complex needs of his growing family to keep track of his finances, and frustrated with the options available at the time, he decided to pursue it as a gap in the personal finance software market.

Looking at the tech trends, he initially assumed that this would mean a mobile app.

Peter Polson, founder and CEO of Tiller. (Tiller photo)

But the data, aptly, offer a different solution. In their initial user research, Poulson and team identified a passionate group of spreadsheet fanatics. At first, he saw this group as a lost cause. They will never ask them to switch to the mobile app. Then he realized: these were his people.

the result was tillerA subscription service that populates customizable spreadsheets with automated data feeds from banks and other financial institutions – tracking expenses, income, investments and budgets with the help of templates and a community of users who share solutions and workflows.

After initially prioritizing the development of Google Sheets, Tiller Fast forward to Microsoft Excel since last yearBased on the limited popularity of Excel solutions at the time.

payment arrived With the announcement in May That Microsoft would recommend Tiller to its Microsoft 365 customers, offering Tiller a 60-day free trial, which is twice the normal length. tiller Costs $79/year after trial,

Microsoft declared together That it will shut down its own solution, Money in Excel, a year from now, on June 30, 2023. money in excel was introduced in June 2020, Explaining the decision, Microsoft cited its desire to focus on other areas where the company believes it could have a greater impact.

With the announcement, Tiller has seen an increase in Excel users. Previously, most of the company’s customers were Google Sheets users, but that has now shifted, with Excel representing the majority of its new customers. Signups have more than doubled since Microsoft’s announcement, the company says.

With more than 58 million Microsoft 365 consumer customers, this makes sense given the size of Microsoft’s user base. The Redmond Company’s Most Recent Earnings Report,

Polson sees this as part of a larger trend.

“The spreadsheet, I think, is in a tremendous renaissance right now,” he said. “The extensibility of spreadsheets is blossoming with the way people are using spreadsheets. Lots of companies are building on spreadsheets, and making them more powerful to support all the things we do every day. Huh.” 1

Tiller, he said, “is an example of that.”

Officially established in 2016, the company has 14 employees. Tiller has raised an undisclosed amount of money from people Poulson describes as “seasoned technology investors,” mostly in the Seattle area. Poulson said the company has reached a break-even point and is turning profitable.

The company does not disclose specific customer numbers, but says it has thousands of customers. it is 4.7-star average rating on the Google Workspace Marketplace Based on around 50,000 installs.

The tiller comes with a range of safety precautions. The company says it never looks at the usernames and passwords that customers enter at their financial institutions to authorize automated feeds of financial data that populate spreadsheets. The company’s early adoption has also been Envestnet | Yodlee’s Open Banking Technology To access bank data without sharing username and password.

Tiller CEO Peter Polson worked as a college intern at Microsoft Money.

Tiller’s Microsoft partnership brings Poulson full circle. As a college student, he interned at Microsoft Money as a program manager, assigned to build tax features into a new version of the software.

“I always thought it was ironic and funny, because what does a college kid know about taxes?” He remembered. “I knew a little about personal finance, but little about taxes.”

A student at Seattle’s Lakeside School, he graduated from Middlebury College and received his MBA from Dartmouth, working as a JPMorgan Chase technology M&A analyst before moving into the wireless industry. He was later CEO of Dashwire, a Seattle-area mobile phone back-up service. It was acquired by HTC for $18.5 million in 2013.,

He and his wife took a fresh look at the personal finance technology market after their second child, and they wanted a more sophisticated tool to manage their family’s finances. However in the meantime the market had shifted to web and mobile technologies, led by intuit mintHe wanted something with more power and flexibility.

He eventually returned to the spreadsheet. Tiller says it’s the only service that offers a daily automated feed of finances in Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel.

Polson cited the need for people to pay more attention to their money to combat “investing heavily in technologies to accelerate spending” including Amazon 1-Click, services to delay payments, credit card offers and other tactics. Gave. Often, saving money is simply a matter of paying attention to what you’re spending.2

Next on Tiller’s roadmap: Bringing its automatic categorization feature, aka “AutoCat”, to the Excel version of your service. It lets users set up rules to classify different types of transactions. This is a popular feature in the Google Sheets version of Tiller, and the company says it will be released to Tiller users in Excel this summer.


1 When asked to elaborate, Poulson said, “Examples of other companies building on existing spreadsheets such as Google Sheets and Excel include datarail, GlideApps.com, round layerAnd supermatrix, Examples of companies launching new spreadsheet competitors include spreadsheet.com, coda, equalAnd queue,

2 I’ve been trying out Tiller using a 60-day free trial for Microsoft 365 users, and so far I’ve got $47/month in various subscriptions for services we no longer needed, didn’t know that we still had, or otherwise had forgotten to cancel.

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