What is Airtable?
The collection and storage of information is no longer trouble with the help of the internet and various softwares. In today’s world, the most popular sort of data management system is a cloud collaboration network. A number of people can contribute and edit the documents present in a shared space. It works well for businesses as all members of a team can co-author computer files with the help of cloud collaboration. Airtable is one such platform which integrates the features of a database into a spreadsheet.
Airtable (1) was established by Howie Liu, Andrew Ofstad and Emmett Nicholas in 2012. The company has its headquarters in San Francisco, California. Airtable consists of various fields which resembles the cells in a spreadsheet but has sections named checkbox, phone numbers etc. You can take a look at the file attachments like images. Through Airtable, the users can make a database, set up section types, include records, interface tables to each other, work together, sort records and distribute the data to external sites.
Airtable believes that anyone should have the right to create the tools they need for their work. You can organise complicated procedures like shooting a film or even the smallest tasks like making a list with the help of Airtable. Many famous companies from all over the world, such as Netflix, Shopify, BuzzFeed, Expedia etc. make use of the services provided by Airtable. In addition to these, around 170,000 companies are regular users of Airtable. More than 15 million databases have been created through Airtable as of now. They have also been able to raise a total of 170 million dollars as funding through various rounds.
About the founders
The founder and Chief Executive Officer of Airtable, Howie Liu, had been a product administrator at Salesforce before starting on this venture. Ever since he was a teenager, Howie was enthusiastic about software creation. He is a graduate of Mechanical Engineering and Public Policy from Duke University. Before establishing Airtable, Howie had also founded the intelligent CRM Etacts, which was obtained by Salesforce.
Andrew Ofstad is also a co-founder and Chief Product Officer at Airtable. He hails from rural Montana and is also an alumnus of Duke University. Andrew is a graduate in Electrical Engineering and Economics. He has worked with various prestigious enterprises before joining Airtable. Andrew has been a product manager at Android and was the leader of the redesign of Google Maps, which is one of its most loved products.
Another co-founder of Airtable is Emmett Nicholas, who is currently the Chief Technology Officer of Airtable. Until his teenage years, he lived in Washington state and went on to pursue Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Duke University. Before founding Airtable, Emmett had been a founding engineer of Stack Overflow.
The beginning of Airtable
The original idea of Airtable was born from the first-hand experiences of the co-founder. During that time, the world of technology had developed numerous apparatuses for building applications, and different softwares were gaining popularity. However, many of them were too specialised to be of use to regular employees in the technology business. They did not necessarily have the coding experience to utilise those tools. Moreover, the more user-friendly applications available in the market were too costly.
Howie Liu, Andrew Ofstad and Emmett Nicholas wanted to make the database services available to all those of workers. This was the vision that led to the creation of Airtable. Finally, Airtable was launched in 2012 with the most adaptable structure that you can ask for. They created the platform in such a way that you can alter its features depending on what you need. Airtable made the storing of information much more relaxed and better than depending upon an already existing database layout. Airtable pricing is also planned in a way to make it accessible to all sorts of customers. The company has led a number of funding rounds and has witnessed tremendous growth throughout the years.
The components of Airtable
Airtable creates the database in the form of a spreadsheet. Therefore various elements of the Airtable platform are similar to those in a spreadsheet. Let’s take a look at what they are:
- Bases: All the data required to make any operation is contained in a Base. You can create bases from existing layouts that Airtable provides you. They can likewise be worked without any preparation, from a spreadsheet or a current Base.
- Tables: A table is like a spreadsheet. A base is an assortment of tables.
- Views: They show the outcome sets of information inquiries and can be put aside for future purposes.
- Fields: Every time you make an entry in a table, Airtable saves it as a field. They are not merely confined to holding text. As of now, Airtable offers 16 essential field types. These are single-line messages, long content articles, file attachments, check-boxes, single select from a drop-down chart, multiple select from a drop-down chart, date and time, telephone numbers, email ids, URLs, numbers, money, rate, auto-number, formulae and barcodes.
- Records: Each row in a Table is called a Record.
- Workspaces: In Airtable, workspace is an assortment of Bases.
Funding and Growth through the years
Airtable received an undisclosed amount of seed funding in March 2013. Later in February 2015, Airtable raised 3 million dollars of investment from Caffeinated Capital, Freestyle Capital, Data Collective and CrunchFund. Airtable dispatched its API and installed databases in April 2015. In June 2015, they led a Series A round of funding which raised 7.6 million dollars. The leading investors in this round of funding we’re Charles River Ventures and Ashton Kutcher. It was in July 2015 that the company introduced Airtable Forms to gather and sort out data.
In August 2015, Airtable made its “Add to Slack” service accessible to join Airtable with Slack. Airtable updated its iOS app in the same year and presented barcode identification as a new field type. Airtable also announced a Series B round of funding in March 2017, led by Caffeinated Capital and CRV. It raised a total of 60 million dollars after which the company reported the dispatch of Airtable Blocks. In November 2018, Airtable raised 100 million dollars in a Series C round of funding led by Benchmark, Coatue Management, CRV and Thrive Capital.