40 under 40-2021 Howie Liu
Courtesy of Airtable
  • Age
  • Title
    Cofounder and CEO
  • Company

Having learned how to program at the age of 13, Howie Liu cofounded his first company, CRM (customer relationship management) startup Etacts, when he was 21. Within a year of its launch, Etacts was acquired by Salesforce, and Liu joined the Marc Benioff–led cloud software giant to help lead its CRM product development. But before long, Liu got the itch to do his own thing once more—and his next act would become an even bigger success. Airtable’s cloud-based, spreadsheet-meets-database platform is hugely popular with enterprise customers, including Fortune 500 heavyweights like Amazon, IBM, Nike, and Netflix. As the pandemic has heightened the need for cloud-based collaboration, Airtable has only grown its reach; more than 250,000 organizations now use its services, and the startup’s most recent funding round in March valued it at nearly $5.8 billion.

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