Airtable, maker of a coding platform for non-techies, raises $100M at a $1.1B valuation

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If data is the new oil, you may consider apps are the vehicles that want it to maneuver. Now, a startup that has constructed a platform to let everybody — not simply these with technical experience — make and drive their very own “vehicles” has raised a big spherical of funding to develop its enterprise. Airtable — which makes use of a easy interface constructed on spreadsheets and different instruments acquainted to information staff as a frontend to provide apps and different web-based experiences — has raised $100 million in funding to develop its enterprise with extra expertise and workplaces exterior the US. Together with the funding, the corporate has now catapulted to a $1.1 billion valuation.

Catapult is the important thing phrase right here: in line with PitchBook the corporate was solely valued at $152 million in its final spherical — eight months in the past.

Airtable’s instruments are actually in use by some 80,000 companies right now, the corporate mentioned, representing an actual development spurt. To place that into some context, when the corporate raised $52 million eight months in the past, it mentioned it had solely 30,000 customers.

This newest spherical — a Collection C — was led by Josh Kushner at Thrive Capital, Peter Fenton at Benchmark, and Philippe and Thomas Laffont at Coatue Administration. Delphine Arnault, Emily Weiss, Alexa Von Tobel, Sarah Smith, Dan Rose, and former buyers CRV and Caffeinated Capital additionally participated — bringing the entire raised by Airtable to $170 million.

Howie Liu, the CEO who co-founded Airtable with Emmett Nicholas (now CTO) and Andrew Ofstad, mentioned that the preliminary concept for the product got here out of their very own expertise. The tech world had already recognized that many instruments for constructing apps and different merchandise had been probably too technical for the overwhelming majority of information staff within the tech business (who won’t have coding expertise), however the options out there for making issues like apps had been nonetheless “too costly and complex to make use of.”

“The imaginative and prescient was to democratise the worth proposition,” he mentioned. A database, the founders determined, “in its most versatile type, will be customised to what you want, and that might be higher than utilizing another person’s current database mannequin.”

Airtable shouldn’t be the one firm that has recognized the issue and tried to resolve it by constructing highly effective macros underneath the hood of in any other case standard-looking database interfaces.

DashDash is constructing an identical idea out of Europe centered particularly on spreadsheets, and we’re even seeing Microsoft and partners constructing extra performance into the world’s main spreadsheet supplier, Excel.

Certainly, that’s not seen as stiff competitors, however an indication for Airtable’s buyers of simply how a lot alternative there’s within the area. “Airtable has established itself because the chief in what is going to change into a really massive market,” Josh Kushner, managing associate at Thrive Capital, mentioned in a press release.

One of many vital facets of Airtable is its Slack-like strategy to the duty of utilizing its platform to construct issues.

The corporate has a platform known as Blocks that not solely lets its customers herald knowledge from plenty of sources, but additionally to pick out plenty of completely different sorts of outputs for a way and the place would really like the information for use, whether or not it’s in a advertising marketing campaign throughout textual content messaging, an AI-based bot, or a VR expertise. Liu confirmed for me that for now Excel shouldn’t be one in all its integration companions, for now.

One other notable level is that Airtable is one more instance of how probably the most promising startups are racking up funding in speedy rounds in the intervening time.

Simply yesterday, at least 4 completely different startups — Service Titan, UiPath, Nikola, and SAM — introduced rounds of funding approaching the heels of fundraising mere months earlier. It’s an indication of how the market may be very sizzling in the intervening time: VCs and different funding companies have raised fuelled by massive sums of money that now should be put to make use of, and they’re all on the lookout for sturdy bets to do exactly that.

Quick-growing startups in areas which might be on the rise current secure harbours to those buyers, and with tens and tons of of billions of {dollars} at these funds nonetheless in play, we’ll most likely proceed to witness this funding development for a while to return.

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