Goodbye Gyana


David Kell

June 21, 2022 • 4 min

We have some sad news - Gyana is shutting down.

Our product will be available until 21st July 2022, after which you’ll no longer be able to access your account. We’ve prepared a migration guide to help you find an alternative.

For those of you on a recurring paid plan, we’ll be reaching out 1:1 to talk about your options.

Read on for why we made this difficult decision, reflections and thoughts on the future.

Why we started Gyana

Joyeeta and I co-founded our company at the University of Oxford, around 7 years ago.

We named it “Gyana” - the Sanskrit word for knowledge - and in a nutshell, that was the end goal of what we wanted to build.

We thought (and still think) that a surprising number of problems in the world happen because people make decisions based on incomplete information.

Data has the potential to solve this, by providing a neutral and unbiased account of what has actually happened anywhere in the world.

The challenge is that raw data is overwhelming, and it’s only by using the tools of data science that you can turn that raw material into useful insights.

And because “data science” is typically synonymous with “writing code”, that has limited the impact of data. There is a huge undersupply of data scientists, and even for the pros, the tools are still relatively clunky and unintuitive.

That’s the problem we wanted to solve. If we could build better tools for working with data, it would democratize access to data science and accelerate progress to a data-driven economy.

How did we do?

Well - first and foremost, we brought two successful products to market.

Neera (2016-2019)

We started with Neera - a platform for human mobility data insights. Enter any location, and instantly get the footfall, catchment area, consumer demographics and more.

Thanks to Neera, Gyana won best startup at 2019 EG Tech Awards, and we sold the product to Fetch Capital Partners at the start of 2020.

Neera powered decision making in over twenty of the largest global enterprises (BCG, Vodafone, Knight Frank, AirBnB, …), with a diverse range of use cases from transport to real estate to telecom.

Under the hood, we built a queryable model of the economy, defined by the anonymised movement of GPS mobile devices, and powered by a custom built spatial analytics platform.

Gyana (2020-2022)

Then there was Gyana (the product) - a no-code data platform, designed for startups and agencies. Build a custom report for any online data sources without building a data stack.

Gyana was recently #1 on Product Hunt, and was a huge hit on AppSumo.

Thousands of our customers use Gyana to build their own custom reports, without a complex onboarding process or hiring a data scientist.

Under the hood, we wrapped all the ugly details of ELT, warehousing, modeling, BI, orchestration & lineage, into a no-code interface that feels natural and intuitive.

Stepping back

Taken together, we played a key role in the democratization of data - both by empowering non-technical users, and giving the next-generation of startups the blueprint for building no-code tools.

(Side note - for those of you working in this space, please drop me a message on LinkedIn/Twitter and I’d love to share all the details of what we learned here.)

On top of that, the Gyana mafia is a thing. A brief scroll through LinkedIn shows me 10+ founders and 50+ startup leaders with Gyana on their CV. As a recent employee wrote to me this week:

Gyana rebuilt my confidence after a soulless corporate job, made me rediscover that childish joy for exploring and building things, and I met some of my lifelong friends there. You and Joyeeta created somewhere really special which touched many people’s lives. You should both be immensely proud.

I’m looking forward to watching what our mafiosos achieve in the coming years.

The decision to shut down

In many ways, Gyana has never been in such a good position.

We have a product our users love, and an effective, remote-first culture with minimal bureaucracy and lots of getting sh*t done.

Unfortunately, the numbers just don’t add up. Gyana is an expensive product to scale. We don’t have the capital, and thanks to founder dilution and difficult market conditions, a fundraise isn’t feasible.

After 7+ years of building our company, Joyeeta and I have faced a fair share of challenging situations and our typical reaction is to try anyway.

But in a virtual board meeting last week, we agreed that in this instance, the painful but correct decision is to shut down.

Thank you to everyone who supported us. A special shout out to:

  • Our investors - you trusted us with your money and time
  • Our team, past and present - you made Gyana what it is
  • Our customers - you taught us so much
  • Our vendors and partners - you had our back

We couldn’t be prouder of what we achieved together. No doubt, this is only the beginning.

David & Joyeeta