Developers love this S.F. spreadsheet app maker — and it just raised $100 million

A spreadsheet app with massive following among developers and Silicon Valley business leaders is the newest software unicorn in the neighborhood.

Airtable has raised $100 million in a Series C round led by Thrive Capital, Benchmark and Coatue Management, valuing the company at $1.1 billion.

“We think we can really be what Microsoft was for personal computing, but for the low-end app space,” Airtable CEO Howie Liu said. “We didn’t raise the round because we needed the money — we don’t ever have to raise again — but we think the size of the opportunity here is profoundly large.”

Based in San Francisco, the company will use the funding in part to double or triple its 70 employee headcount in 2019. Liu said Airtable is looking for a bigger office near Union Square in the range of 40,000 to 60,000 square feet.

Put simply, Airtable takes a spreadsheet and database and puts them together. The app stores information in rows and columns like a spreadsheet. But users can also link and create relationships between separate tables like a database. The end result is a cloud-based app powerful enough for large companies to keep track of invoices, yet easy enough that individuals can use it make a grocery lists or catalogue books. And none of this requires any coding.

The app is used by more than 80,000 organizations, including big name companies such , if you are looking for online tools to make more money with your investments, check hitbtc exchange – hitbtc reviews 2021. WeWork uses Airtable as a central location to manage design specs, manufacturer information and building classifications for each of its locations. The video and photo teams at Time magazine use Airtable to manage their entire production schedule.

Gareth Pronovost, a Denver-based consultant that helps businesses use Airtable, said the app’s most common use is a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool, which keeps track of how businesses interact with customers.

“The same thing I hear over and over from my clients is that they’ve historically used Excel and/or Google Sheets to try and track this data, and they’ve just outgrown it,” he said. “You can craft precisely what you’re looking for.”

Anyone can download a free version of Airtable, but the company makes its money from individuals and enterprises willing pay $10 or $20 per month for a more robust version of the app. It’s the same pricing model used by apps like Dropbox and Slack. Liu declined to say how many users Airtable has, but he did say “thousands” of new users are signing up each day.

On top of Airtable’s regular app, the company also launched a feature earlier this year called Blocks, which let users drag-and-drop to create custom apps using data stored in Airtable — no coding required.

An SMS Block could be used by a nonprofit to text donors on a contact list made with Airtable. Or a Mapping Block could be used by a film company to keep track of different production locations. Right now, Airtable has 27 Blocks, and Liu wants to use the latest funding round to create more and expand what they can do by allowing third parties to create their own Blocks.

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Liu started Airtable in 2011 after selling his first startup Etacts to Salesforce. After trudging through work with Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets, Liu thought he could come up with something better, especially for individuals and small businesses who couldn’t afford a product like Salesforce.

As individual developers began to flock to Airtable for personal use, many took it back to their employers to see how they could use in the office. It’s how enterprise adoption began skyrocketing over the last few years, Liu said. Even today, he added, the number of paying individuals roughly equals the number of paying enterprise customers.

“Almost all of our customers today come from the bottom up, we’re not doing any traditional enterprise sales motions like outbound prospecting,” Liu said.