Airtable and the unbundling of Microsoft Office

Airtable -- which raised money at a massive $5.8B valuation -- is one of the most high-profile startups unbundling a single Microsoft Office function.


March 18, 2021

You probably used a Microsoft Office product this morning.

Whether that be Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, or… gasp… Teams.

Unsurprisingly, this part of Microsoft’s business — dubbed Business & Productivity — is a complete cash cow, bringing in $10B+ a quarter.

Where there’s money…

… there are companies sniffing around. No one has sniffed harder than Google, which jacked recreated Office with Google Workspace (e.g., Sheets, Docs, Slides).

But there are also many startups building products to unbundle the individual Microsoft Office tools:

  • Notion is building a more collaborative and feature-filled alternative to Word
  • Figma is a better visual-creation tool than PowerPoint
  • Superhuman is creating a better email experience than Outlook

To see how lucrative the opportunity is, look no further than Airtable — an alternative to Excel that just raised $270m at a $5.8B valuation.

Airtable’s secret sauce…

… is that it is a no-code platform, as explained by Forbes. You can do all the spreadsheet-y stuff you do with Excel, but you can also customize it to create software tools… without having software experience.

Airtable is supercharging its functionality by building the equivalent of an App Store for the product, allowing 3rd-party creations into the ecosystem.

The startup already has 250k+ users, and its enterprise customer base — the bread-and-butter for Microsoft — is up 350% YoY.

As long as startups leave =SUM() alone, unbundle away.

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