Airtable Opens New Office in Downtown Austin
San Francisco-based cloud collaboration tool Airtable had big plans to open a customer engagement center in Austin when the pandemic hit.
“If I remember correctly, we had our first round of interviews for the first roles we were hiring for in the first week of March,” Brian Hagen, the general manager of Airtable Austin, told Built In. “We had five people who had ever been into an Airtable office. We were renting a WeWork space. Everything kind of changed after that.”
During the pandemic, Airtable remotely grew its Austin office to a team of 100 people. Despite being remote, the team tried to foster coworker relationships through kickball tournaments, a documentary club and a trivia night.
Now, as teams across the country return to the office, Airtable is particularly excited to open its new downtown Austin office at 501 Congress Ave., in a space previously occupied by Dropbox.
“As of yesterday, we now have over 100 people, many of whom have never met each other in person,” Hagen said. “We’ve got some people here today that I’ve worked with for a year and a half that I’ve never met in person. So today is kind of a fun day.”
Airtable’s new Austin office will be open at a limited capacity for vaccinated employees who choose to go to the office.
The new office announcement comes as Airtable sees increased demand from its enterprise clients. In response, the company plans to hire an additional 50 employees in sales and engineering roles by the end of the year.
The company currently has 28 open Austin-based roles listed on its website.
Airtable is a super-powered spreadsheet with a relational database that allows users to develop their own applications and workflows without any coding knowledge.
The company, which was last valued at $5.7 billion, has millions of users across 250,000 organizations, including Netflix, Red Bull, IBM, Under Armour, and more than half of the Fortune 1,000.
Hagen said enterprise clients have unique needs due to their size. The average enterprise organization uses more than 280 apps in their tech stack, he said, which can cause siloed and duplicative data.
When considering the added fragmentation caused by an abrupt change to a remote workforce, Hagen said enterprise clients and their employees found themselves improvising software solutions.
“When (enterprise clients) went remote, things started to break, and these teams had to figure out how to work in a more visual way and in a more efficient way,” Hagen said. “They had to ask themselves, ‘How do we take these really complicated workflows that were working when we were together and are now broken?’ Airtable has been the solution for a lot of companies to help them connect those (systems).”
Of the 50 projected hires, 10 will form a new enterprise engineering team based in Austin. The team will be led by Pierpaolo Baccichet, who was previously a senior principal engineer at Dropbox overseeing more than 90 engineers.
The new engineering team, which first formed in San Francisco about 1 1/2 years ago, will address the unique needs of enterprise clients, such as securing sensitive data. The engineering team recently rolled out integrations with Salesforce and Jira, which are popular software solutions in the enterprise world.
Airtable is also building a sales development team in Austin, hiring sales development representatives, business development representatives and onboarding specialists.