Featured Article from Conferencing

Funding Gives Conferencing Company $1B Valuation

January 23, 2017

Video conferencing service Zoom has garnered $100 million in new funding. That Series D round money all comes courtesy of Sequoia. And, perhaps more importantly, it creates the industry’s latest unicorn.

Zoom, which had raised $45.5 million prior to receiving this latest round, reportedly wasn’t even seeking new funding. Rather, CEO Eric S. Yuan said, it was Sequoia – which had been seeking to invest in a video conferencing company – that approached Zoom. The company was attractive because Yuan was involved in the launch of WebEx (which Cisco later bought for $3.2 billion) and Sequoia’s portfolio companies were fans of the Zoom product.

“By addressing the huge market demand for cloud-based videoconferencing, Zoom is seizing a leadership position and filling the void created by the industry’s fading legacy providers,” according to Yuan writing for the Zoom blog. “With this support from Sequoia, we will develop revolutionary products and features such as virtual reality, augmented reality, and the Zoom Developer Platform; expand internationally; and grow our sales and marketing teams.”

Zoom plans to come out with release 4.0 of its solution in short order. The company explains that will include a new Zoom Developer Portal and Zoom MobileRTC Platform that developers can use to embed screen sharing, video, and voice into business applications.

It will also feature three enhancements to its software-based conference room systems, known as Zoom Rooms. That will include a controller app for Android tablets, the ability for IT to assign access controls and alerts to IT managers by location and to configure multiple rooms as a batch. And it will offer the ability to control Zoom Rooms using voice commands.

For better collaboration and webinar experiences, meanwhile, Zoom 4.0 will offer the ability for multiple participants to share their screens simultaneously and provide the meeting host instant feedback on who’s attending. And it will be able to broadcast up to 50 video panelists to an unlimited audience. It also will feature integrations with iOS 10.