Popular spreadsheet app Airtable is now worth $2.5 billion after a new funding round that its CEO says will make it a stronger competitor to Microsoft and Google

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Airtable CEO Howie Liu

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Business are digitizing faster than ever, and turning to no code/low code tools to build the apps to get them there.

Airtable wants to play a major role in that transformation, which led it the recent close of a $185 million Series D funding round, announced on Monday, that values the company at $2.5 billion. That’s more than double the spreadsheet app’s last reported valuation of $1 billion in 2018. 

The round was led by existing investor Thrive Capital, with participation from new investor D1 Capital and existing ones Benchmark, Coatue, Caffeinated Capital, and CRV. The announcement brings Airtable’s total funding raised to about $350 million.

As of now, Airtable has 200,000 organizations using the product, and has big ambitions to grow. Earlier this year it opened two new offices in Mountain View and Austin to hire for its engineering, product, and customer engagement teams, and has since grown employee count 137%, up to 280 employees from 118.

The funding round will help Airtable cement its position in the no code/low code market and position itself for future growth, while also staving off competition from competitors like Microsoft and Google — all without having to worry about short-term economic pressures amid the pandemic, CEO Howie Liu said.

“This is a huge opportunity and we’re currently the pioneer in it. We’re the leader. And we have a lot of innovation and velocity, but there are going to be competitors,” Liu told Business Insider. “The first thing is we’re really trying to step up just our ability to execute, deliver on more and more product value for our customers. And then ultimately continue to differentiate and win the space against a field of increasing competition.” 

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Airtable is seen as a hybrid between a traditional Microsoft Excel-style spreadsheet and a more sophisticated, traditional database. It’s found a base of avid fans who use it for everything from project management, to productivity, to organizing their home libraries and collections. Over time, however, Airtable has been expanding to make itself into a no code/low code platform, allowing even non-developers to build simple apps with little to no programming required. 

At the same time, however, it will have to beat the competition. Not only does Airtable face competition from spreadsheet stalwarts like Microsoft and Google, both of whom have their own low-code products, it’s also going up against relative upstarts like Zapier and Notion.

That crowded playing field is only helping to establish and define the market, Liu said, and he believes that Airtable will still come out on top.

Transforming into a true no code/low code platform

In 2018, Airtable launched Blocks, a set of templates to help users build simple apps, backed by the data that they had in their spreadsheets. On Monday, Airtable launched an expansion of its app-creation capabilities that lets users start building their own tools from scratch, rather than use those templates.

Liu says that it’s intended for those with a little bit more programming experience, but is still streamlined to …read more

Source:: Business Insider

      

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