Faster Traction Through Funding, How Zoom and Eric Yuan Defeated Apple’s Facetime, Microsoft’s Skype, and Cisco's WebEx
Find Angel Funding & Venture Capital for Business Startups, Entrepreneurs, & First Time Founders – Episode 11
You have proven you have a business that works. Now it is time to put the foot on the gas pedal. When you do this, here are some questions you should be considering.
How can you leverage technology?
Which roles need to be filled?
Should you hire staff or contractors?
Do you have enough space?
Where will the money come from?
Can operational cash flow sustain your business?
Are you profitable?
If you have not started raising capital, now is the time. If your business created a solution to a problem that can be sold for a profit, you will have competition. You need resources to compete. Resources require capital.
Eric Yuan founded Zoom, originally known as Saasbee, in April 2011. Yuan did this while working at Cisco's WebEx Cisco video conferencing business, after noticing that WebEx was not keeping up with what customers were demanding.
Eric Yuan raises $3 million in seed funding In June 2011, two months from founding, from TSVC, WebEX founder Subrah Iyar, Matt Ocko, Dan Scheinman and Bill Tai.
Yuan did this despite massive competitors.
CISCO acquired WEBEX for $3.2 billion in 2009
In early 2011, Apple launched FaceTime
May 10, 2011, Microsoft Corporation acquired Skype Communications for $8.5 billion
First customer, at one year and seven months from founding, three months from launch: In November 2012, Zoom signs up Stanford Continuing Studies, Stanford's continuing adult education program, as its first customer.
Product one, at one year and nine months from founding, five months from launch: In January 2013, Zoom releases its Unified Meeting Experience (UMX) cloud service, which allows 25 people to participate at once, either up to 40 minutes with its free version or unlimited with its $9.99 business plan.
Second funding, at one year and nine months from founding, five months from launch: In January 2013, Zoom raises a $6 million Series A from Qualcomm Ventures, Yahoo founder Jerry Yang, Iyar and Dan Scheinman.
"I put the phone down and stared at it intensely. I was transfixed. Sure, I had just learned about Eric’s terrific background as an engineering leader at Webex and an executive at Cisco. However, more importantly, I was totally blown away by Eric’s unique vision on the future of video collaboration. Eric had explained his unique technical approach, and I felt that it was significantly different/better than others I had seen in the industry (from both video startups and Internet giants). Eric essentially had constructed an incredibly well thought-out “First Principles” multimedia approach for this new multi-device, cloud-based world."
Traction, at one year and nine months from founding, five months from launch: In January 2013, Zoom reaches over 500,000 participants, has held over 140,000 meetings, and has 1,000 businesses on the platform in over 2,500 cities around the world.
Traction, at two years and one month from founding, nine months from launch: In May of 2013 Zoom reaches one million participants. It has connected over 400,000 meetings and 3,500 businesses in over 2,500 cities worldwide.
Traction, at two years and three months from founding, 11 months from launch: In July 2013, Zoom has nearly two million participants, 5,500 meetings/day and 100 million meeting minutes.
Third funding, at two years and five months from founding, one year and one month from launch: In September 2013, Zoom raises $6.5 million in Series B funding led by Horizons Ventures, with Patrick Soon-Shiong and Jerry Yang also participating. Bart Swanson, Advisor at Horizon Ventures, joins the Board of Directors at Zoom.
Traction, three years and three months from founding, one year and 11 months from launch: In July 2014, Zoom reached 10 million participants.
Fourth funding, at three years and 10 months from founding, two years and six months from launch: In February 2015, Zoom raises $30 million in a Series C round led by Emergence Capital, with participation from Horizons Ventures, Jerry Yang, Qualcomm Ventures, and Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong.
Traction, at three years and 10 months from founding, two years and six months from launch: By February 2015, Zoom has 65,000 companies, 40 million individuals, over 1 billion meeting minutes and 2,500 educational institution customers.
Zoom went public on April 18, 2019, valuing the company at nearly $16 billion by the end of its IPO.
As of March 2020, Zoom has a market cap of $38.52 billion.
None of this would have been possible without funding.
Do you want more?
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