Airtable Rakes In $185M in Series D, Rolls Out Tools for Non-Coders


Airtable’s $185 million Series D funding shows low-code, no-code platforms are moving up the value chain. As organizations tap automation for building custom applications, Airtable is fueling a paradigm shift in software development via its slew of APIs to help non-developers become software ‘builders’, not just software users. 

Spreadsheet-based no-code collaborative application development platform Airtable’s latest $185 million Series D funding shows how interest in low-code and no-code tools is at an all-time high.  With the pandemic raging on, IT teams are pushing for ways to adapt and modernize for the new automation-led era. And low-code tools offer a way to non-developers to be software ‘builders’ and not just software ‘users’. 

San Francisco-headquartered Airtable wants developers to build their own customization approach in creating productivity software. Currently, its platform is leveraged by over 200,000 organizations globally. IDC estimates Opens a new window that by 2023, nearly half a billion new cloud-based apps will be developed. The company has doubled its valuation to well over $2.5 billion with the latest funding round that was led by Thrive Capital, new investor D1 Capital, and existing investors like Benchmark and Caffeinated Capital. 

Airtable co-Founder and CEO Howie Liu wants to be a torchbearer for low-code, no-code movement. He believes the remote work boom has played a pivotal role in moving low-code tools up the value chain.  “I think there’s this increasing market recognition that the space is real, and the space is very large. While we didn’t strictly need the funding, it allowed us to continue to invest aggressively into furthering our platform, vision and really executing aggressively, […] without having to worry about, ‘well, what happens with COVID?’ There’s a lot of uncertainty, right? And I think even today there’s still a lot of uncertainty about what the next year will bear,” Liu told TechcrunchOpens a new window . 

Some of its customers include tech giants like IBM, Netflix and entertainment players like HBO and Condé Nast Entertainment. 

See Also: Why Full-stack Development Needs Low-code to Stay Agile

Recognizing the growing potential of low-code platforms, Airtable has rolled out new, sophisticated features to manage complexity in application development. The new features are:

Airtable Apps

Users could easily develop applications using Airtable’s block editor but it offered limited functionality. Airtable has gone one step further by pushing out advanced functionality in block editor with support for JavaScript. “And since apps are fully integrated with Airtable and your existing information, we can take care of most of the complexity that comes with building something from scratch,” wrote Liu in a blog post.

Airtable Marketplace

As the name suggests, Marketplace is a platform by Airtable where developers/users can share low-code applications with others. 

Speaking with VentureBeatOpens a new window , Liu said, “In Airtable’s new Marketplace, where developers and others in our community can share apps they’ve built, we expect AI- and machine learning-enabled tools to be popular with our customers. At launch, for example, you can install a custom app that leverages Google’s Cloud Vision API to give businesses … the power of AI and machine learning directly within their Airtable base. Customers can use the app to quickly classify images into thousands of categories, detect individual faces or objects within images, and build metadata on their image catalogs to do everything from moderating offensive content to enabling new marketing scenarios through image sentiment analysis.”

With apps that can translate text, annotate images, to manage team workloads, Marketplace can host some interesting new apps in the future.

Airtable Automations

Automations allows developers/users to create customized workflows and automate them to eliminate redundancies in manual effort. With this feature, users can automate repetitive processes and prompt email & message notifications, generate reports etc.

Users can also create custom automation besides implementing pre-built ones. Airtable Automations is compatible with G Suite, Microsoft Teams, Jira, Twitter, Slack, Facebook, etc.

See Also: How No-code Platforms will Solve the Developer Shortage

Airtable Sync

Sync is a way for a user to share data with other team members and teams within the organization. The functionality gives users control over access and ownership of the data.

Airtable’s rivals like Google, Microsoft, Zoho, and Smartsheet have also made significant strides in the area, with Smartsheet recently taking over Brandfolder’s digital asset management business. And while Airtable reduces the need for manual coding with APIs, Encanvas has evolved into a codeless enterprise application platform Encanvas/4Opens a new window for developers.  

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