Reflecting on Zoom’s Journey
Last week was a big week for Zoom, with the announcement of our $100M Series D Funding and the release of Zoom 4.0, and then the news that Zoom is the fastest growing app on the Okta platform.
I am thrilled to partner with Sequoia for the future of our company, but it’s also worth considering all those who have helped Zoom thus far in our journey. Sequoia funded Zoom in large part because we’re “The only enterprise startup that combines Apple-level NPS with Slack-like usage and Facebook-caliber monetization,” according to Sequoia partner Carl Eschenbach.
But this didn’t happen overnight. As I reflect on our journey thus far, I am constantly reminded that Zoom was not created in a vacuum. It needed believers and champions who were willing to risk their money, careers, time, and reputations on an idea. Below are some of those believers who really stand out to me now as crucial elements of our success.
Zoom started because I was fed up with the lack of innovation at Cisco WebEx. Leadership there didn’t care about making their products better for their customers, and I knew it would eventually be their downfall. So I left. But I knew I couldn’t build Zoom by myself. Luckily, over 40 WebEx engineers felt the same way I did, believed in my vision, and left the security of their jobs to come with me.
We found support in early investors like former Cisco SVP of corporate development Dan Scheinmen, co-founder of MaiTai Global Bill Tai, Jerry Yang’s AME Cloud Ventures, Qualcomm Ventures, and Horizons Ventures. With a skeleton staff, we built and started selling Zoom. We quickly found traction in technology companies and higher education. Earliest adopters included Stanford Continuing Studies, Linear Technology, Kansas State University, University of Texas, Quicken Loans, and many others.
We soon began to experience rapid organic growth of Zoom across all markets and company sizes, from one-person businesses to massive enterprise corporations. All this with a small sales team and virtually no marketing. In February 2015, we received a transformative investment of $30 million from Emergence Capital and Emergence partner Santi Subotovsky joined Zoom as a new board member. This investment helped us to grow our sales and marketing teams from a few employees to almost 200 people. It also helped us scale our backend to meet the needs of our growing customer base, and develop new products like Zoom Rooms and Zoom Video Webinars.
Last fall we started meeting with Sequoia. We had not been seeking funding, given that Zoom is cash-flow positive. However, over our discussions it became clear that Sequoia would be an excellent partner for us, not to mention that they have invested in Apple, Google, Yahoo, Oracle, Cisco, LinkedIn, and Palo Alto Networks. They have strong international presence, we are in-sync for our vision for Zoom’s future, and our new board member from Sequoia, Carl Eschenbach, has significant experience creating strong operational systems to support rapid growth. Given Zoom’s astronomical growth trajectory, this is a vital person for us to have on our team.
We will use the new funding to expand internationally, build our teams to support our growing customer base, develop new features like augmented and virtual reality, and invest in our modern cloud infrastructure. As I told my team earlier this week when I announced the funding, in all this we must remain focused on our customers. We have gotten this far by delivering them happiness. As we build our business teams and new functionality into our products, we do so with our customers at the very top of our minds.
If you want Zoom to be part of the future of your company, please sign up for a free account at zoom.us or get a product demo with one of our product specialists. I appreciate our customers’ support and our investors’ trust. I’m also proud of what we’ve built, and I think you’ll immediately see its value for your organization. Our company’s culture is to deliver happiness to you; our company’s value is to care about you. We will not let down all those who trust Zoom!