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Zoom Launches Version 1.0, Raises Funding

January 29, 2013

Zoom is blasting off to a great start, with a $6-million Series A round of funding, and the launch of its version 1.0 product. This introduces new features, as well as its first paid offerings, while providing easy and high-quality video conferencing on all platforms.

With this new version of Zoom, users can set up multi-person video conferences on all platforms, from desktop computers to mobile devices. It can host up to 40 participants per chat, with screen sharing, meeting recording, and many more features on the free plan alone.

On the basic plan, meetings of more than two people have a time limit of 20 minutes, but the paid version, costing $9.99 a month, has no such limits. There’s also a special plan to offer Zoom to colleges and schools all of Zoom’s features for less than a dollar a month, which will give it a nice foothold in education.

Zoom itself currently has over 400,000 participants since its launch in August, with 1,000 businesses trying it out. It’s being boasted as a competitor for Skype in the video conferencing arena, with high-quality video that can work over even the shakiest of connections without slowing down anything else.

Those funding Zoom include Qualcomm Ventures, as well as individuals such as WebEx founder Subrah Iyar, Yahoo founder Jerry Yang, and former SVP and General Counsel of Cisco Dan Scheinman.

The investors understand the value of what Zoom is offering, and are getting in on it from the bottom up.

“We see two markets, [the] education market being one really key focus because of how full-featured it is and the price point,” said Nick Chong, Zoom’s Head of Product. “The second one is the market that traditionally can’t afford this sort of system, the SMB market. There are a lot of SMBs in the range of 100 to 500 people, they can’t afford this kind of quality tool, so they either don’t have one or they use lower-quality tools like Skype.”

From the looks of it, Zoom is an incredible video conferencing tool, and is certain to do well. It’s affordable, especially in the education market, but also for the everyman who just wants quick video chats with friends.

And businesses will find that the $10 a month is a small price to pay for all the features its paid edition offers. It’s bound to do well, so investors have put their money in the right place.

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Edited by Braden Becker