The Race to Own Web and Video Conferencing: Zoom Gets $100m from Sequoia
By Jim Lundy
(Aragon Research) – The race to own web and video conferencing just got harder. Zoom had jumped into a leadership position before Sequoia doubled down with a $100 million Series D investment.
Now with the capital it needs, Zoom will be ready to take things to the next level, which could include virtual reality. Given this investment, Zoom catapults into the unicorn space with a valuation in excess of $1 billion.
From WebEx to Zoom
Founder and CEO of Zoom Eric Yuan knows a little about web conferencing. After all, he was part of the core team that helped to start, scale, and sell WebEx to Cisco for $3.2 billion in 2007. The web conferencing market is now merged with video conferencing and cloud-based companies like Zoom are scaling. With a great new product offering and a battle-tested management team, Zoom is poised to take on new and legacy providers alike.
However, it is more than just Eric who is making it happen at Zoom. Eric has brought many of his former Cisco and WebEx associates, including President David Herman, Head of Sales Greg Holmes, and Head of Marketing Janine Pelosi.
Building a Real-time Cloud
One of the challenges of video conferencing is that so much of it has been on-premise. This means tons of IT staff, and tons of equipment and challenges in building out the story. Cloud is the new battleground for video.
While WebEx was one of the early pioneers in hosting meetings in the cloud, BlueJeans was one of the first cloud video conferencing providers. They have a solid offering as well that is all cloud-based. Zoom and BlueJeans will compete with other cloud providers, such as Cisco, Google, and Microsoft, in the battle to win real-time collaboration. Investments in cloud will be key, as will ease of use and reliability. UCC providers such as 8×8, Broadsoft, Fuze, and RingCentral also are vying to win the UCC wars.
The Race to Own Web and Video Conferencing
Video continues to surge into the enterprise, as live video becomes easier to do, but harder to do well.
Zoom is focused on making cloud video conferencing easy on any device, including their affordable Room Systems. Others are not standing still. Even today, Cisco announced their new Cisco Spark Board offering that works with the rest of the Cisco Spark platform.
Given all of this, it isn’t just about a new offering in the market. It is about focus and execution and that is one of the advantages the experienced Zoom team has. Zoom is now a unicorn and they are being compared to other unicorns, such as mobile collaboration provider Slack.
Editor’s Note: Zoom and other technology providers mentioned above are featured in the latest Aragon Research Globe™ for Web and Video Conferencing.