Zoom Raises $30 Million for Cloud-Based Video Conferencing
Zoom Video Communications, which introduced its first cloud-based video conferencing product two years ago, has raised $30 million in its latest round of funding.
The Series C funding, announced Feb. 4, was led by Emergence Capital, and also included more money from existing investors, including former Yahoo co-founder and CEO Jerry Yang and Qualcomm Ventures, the investment arm of chip maker Qualcomm.
Zoom, founded in 2011 by CEO Eric Yuan, is one of a growing number of companies that are looking to leverage the cloud for video conferencing. Video conferencing for a long time meant big, expensive room systems from the likes of Cisco Systems, Polycom and LifeSize Communications. However, such trends as an increasingly mobile workforce, bring-your-own-device (BYOD) and the cloud have driven the demand for affordable, easy-to-use video conferencing that is based in software and delivered via the cloud. Businesses are looking to combine the experience users get via consumer products like Skype with the security, manageability and business features available through high-end systems.
Cisco, Polycom and LifeSize all have expanded their portfolios of software- and cloud-based products, while relative newcomers like Vidyo and Blue Jeans Network are pushing to gain traction in the space.
Zoom officials have said their platform is a cost-efficient way for users to get high-quality, multiparty video conferencing any time, anywhere and on any device. Zoom's cloud-based platform enables businesses to get such features as high-definition video and audio, as well as screen sharing and meetings.
"Businesses aren't fully satisfied with the status quo in video conferencing," Yuan, a former executive with WebEx and Cisco, said in a statement. "Zoom's cloud-based video conferencing has a richer feature set and better user experience at a much more affordable cost."
Yuan said he expects to use the $30 million—which essentially doubles what Zoom has raised over the past several years—to expand the reach of the company's portfolio through new sales and marketing efforts.
Since its last round of funding—when it raised $6.5 million in 2013—the company has grown its customer base from 4,500 to 65,000 companies and increased the number of meeting participants from 3 million to 40 million, according to officials. The company has surpassed 1 billion meeting minutes, created the Cloud Room Connector for linking H.323/SIP video endpoints to the cloud, and developed ZoomPresence, a software-based conference room system built on the Apple Mac and iPad.