If any company which embodies the true spirit of a unicorn, it is Slack. The company reached a valuation of $1 billion in 2015 and at the time Slack CEO, Stewart Butterfield spoke extensively about the valuation of the company in excess of $1 billion. Speaking at the time, Butterfield had said, “It means that we’re a part of that conversation about companies worth $1 billion.” Same has been the case with Airtable.
Now, let’s take the conversation forward by four years and we can see that things have not changed much. Airtable, a company which uses a simple interface built on spreadsheets and other tools to produce apps has raised $100 million in funding to expand its business outside the US and this has allowed the company to make that giant leap forward to $1.1 billion, according to a report by TechCrunch.
The customer base of Airtable has also seen a considerable rise in the last eight months and its tools are now being used by nearly 80,000 customers. Eight months back, the total user base of the company stood at 30,000.
The latest round of funding was led by Josh Kushner at Thrive Capital, Peter Fenton at Benchmark, and Philippe and Thomas Laffont at Coatue Management among others. The total capital raised in the third round of funding amounted to $170 million and it brings to light the rapid strides made by the company in a short span of time. Howie Liu, CEO and co-founder of the company along with said that the main idea of the product came from their own experience.
The company said that the tools used for building apps were too technical for the vast majority of knowledge workers and the solutions available in the market were too expensive and complicated to use.
Speaking about the value of democratization, Howie Liu said, “The vision was to democratize the value proposition. A database in its most flexible form can be customized to what you need, and that would be better than using someone else’s existing database model.”
One of the main features of Airtable is the fact that it has taken inspiration from Slack and used its approach to build things on its platform. Airtable has got a platform called Blocks which allows its users to bring data from a number of sources and select different kinds of outputs to decide how and where the data would be used.
This latest round of funding brings to light how it is becoming easier for companies like Airtable to raise funding now. The startups are growing at a rapid rate and they present safe options to investors who are willing to spend hundreds of billions of dollars and many believe that this current trend is going to continue in the foreseeable future.
Source: Tech Crunch