Q&A: Airtable CEO talks up automation, low-code and team collaboration

The company has seen a surge in use of its customizable spreadsheet platform during the pandemic, said CEO and co-founder Howie Liu; this week, Airtable announced $185 million in funding.

Man in blue suit reaching out to virtual gears for productivity
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It’s been a big week for Airtable and its customizable spreadsheet platform. On top of unveiling new features designed to boost its automation, low-code and team collaboration cred, the San Francisco, Ca.-based company unveiled $185 million in series D funding.

Founded in 2012, Airtable has seen a sharp rise in during the COVID-19 pandemic, with 200,000 businesses now using its app. By combining the power of a database with the accessibility of a spreadsheet, Airtable lets users create shared apps for a variety of purposes, whether as a task management tool or a simple CRM platform. The company’s approach has proved popular and others have launched similar services; Microsoft unveiled its Lists app earlier this year and Amazon Web Service’s Honeycode offers comparable functions.

Airtable, now valued at about $2.5 billion, is one of several cloud productivity apps attracting significant funding in recent weeks, alongside Coda, Mural and others, as demand for tools to connect remote workers soars.  

howie liu - airtable Airtable

Airtable CEO and co-founder Howie Liu.

On Monday, Airtable unveiled major improvements to its software with the introduction of IFTTT-style automation, low-code app creation capabilities and more effective context sharing. Airtable CEO and co-founder Howie Liu talked about the new features and investment, competition with Microsoft, and why businesses are only at the beginning of digital transformation of the workplace.

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