When Vincent Jiang worked as a software developer, his day-to-day job was to build tables for financial analysts so they could create financial reports on trading strategies.
He thought that in some cases the analysts could do that themselves instead of relying heavily on the technical staff – they just needed the right tools to get them up and running. This is how the idea for Acho, a super app built for data workers, was born.
Jiang teamed up with co-founder Samuel Liu to launch the company in May 2020. They have gone through Y Combinator’s Summer 2020 batch and now have $2.2 million in seed funding, led by Goat Capital, with participation from Liquid2 Ventures and Capital X.
Acho turns a company’s data assets into business applications, such as a performance dashboard, project management or web app, without the help of IT resources or an existing data infrastructure.
“The biggest problem data teams face today is literacy,” Jiang told TechCrunch. “If you haven’t written SQL for years, you won’t feel super comfortable with it. That’s why we thought that with Acho you could build this kind of collaborative database for teams, so they can consume data without deep technical knowledge – think Google Spreadsheet for real-time databases.”
Currently, Acho counts more than 50 teams as customers who use the app to bring together data, teammates and applications. In addition, the team has grown from three people to 11 in the past three months, Jiang said.
After graduating from YC in 2020, the product was only a month old, so Jiang and Liu decided to postpone for a while after financing to get more traction from customers. What eventually happened was that to their surprise, they closed a round pretty quickly.
“We just didn’t realize there’s so much enthusiasm in our space,” Jiang said. “Some of the companies in our batch became a unicorn in the data space within a year or two, so we realized that there is huge investor demand, but we just want to raise just a little bit initially to avoid dilution and so we could focus more on customers.”
As such, he plans to use the new funding to build out features, services and infrastructure that customers demand. He also wants to increase the size of the team to meet the 50% customer growth the company is experiencing each month.
Goat Capital founder Robin Chan said he and Justin Kan thought Jiang and Liu were focused on “building a real business” and were impressed with their quick traction.
“Vincent is a super rugged entrepreneur who has built a strong core team,” Chan added. “That’s what attracts us to this category of business ventures. There’s just such a deluge of funding for SaaS products, but that’s creating a lot of fragmentation in the enterprise, the supplier space, and we’re looking for people to create a data fabric or circulation system to make it smoother for the business. to work, especially in the remote control paradigm. It’s getting harder and harder for people to interact with all these fragmented products. You need a common foundation on data, this is what Vincent built and it is really powerful.”