Zoom is a video conferencing app, geared towards business usage. It was founded in 2011 by Eric Yuan, and launched in January 2013.
While gathering considerable popularity and coming to run profitably in the following years, Zoom truly entered the public consciousness during the coronavirus pandemic of 2020. It was to Zoom that users across the world turned to stay in touch during the lockdown effected to stop the spread of the virus.
Prior to founding Zoom, Yuan had helped to build WebEx, in the decade prior to its acquisition by Cisco in 2007. Yuan, originally from China, famously emigrated to the US after repeatedly failing to get a visa (ninth time lucky!)
Many advised Yuan against entering an already crowded space, in which he would be competing with Microsoft (Skype) and Google as well as his former employer. He was confident, however, that he could develop a product more enjoyable to use than the incumbents.
Yuan’s confidence paid off – with a million Zoom users logged within a few months (May 2013), 10 million Zoom users a year later (June 2014), and 40 million around two years post-launch (February 2015).
By January 2017, Zoom had become a unicorn, reaching a valuation of $1 billion, as kingmakers Sequoia Capital invested $100 million. This climbed to just short of $16 billion as the company went public in April 2019. Stocks initially priced at $36 were trading for $65 on the first day of trading. While shares would come to decline from the early peak, Zoom ended 2019 running profitably. Revenue was generated through a premium version with added features over the standard free offering.
It was in 2020, as we mention above, however, that Zoom really took off. With people confined to their homes, apps that allowed us to stay in touch became central to our day-to-day lives. People in their droves chose Zoom over other options. Ease of access and careful work to keep latency below 150 milliseconds (the maximum before conversations start to feel unnatural) have been cited as potential reasons.
Yuan stated in a blog post that over the course of May 2020, Zoom was seeing 200 million daily meeting participants. The following month, this figure had risen to 300 million. This compares to 10 million in December 2019. The UK cabinet and 90,000 schools in 20 countries were among new users of the app.
The rapid growth in popularity revealed some worrying issues, however. For instance, Zoom was found to be sending unauthorised data to Facebook. It was also found to be hoarding user data, and using a rather novel definition of ‘end-to-end encryption’. Accordingly, Zoom saw itself banned by governments for official business (Canada and Taiwan), numerous organisations (SpaceX and Nasa) and school boards (New York and Taiwan).
In the aforementioned blog, Yuan detailed measures being taken by Zoom to rectify the situation, citing its intended usage as an app for businesses and not individuals. Zoom seems to be have managed to whether the storm, and is still one of the most business communication applications.
We have collected data and statistics on Zoom. Read on below to find out more.
Zoom key statistics
- Zoom generated $2.6 billion revenue in 2020, a 317 percent increase year-on-year
- Zoom was one of the fastest growing apps of the pandemic, with meeting participants increasing by 2900 percent
- It has 470,000 business customers as of December 2020
- Zoom’s valuation exceeded $100 billion during the pandemic, a 383 percent increase on its value in January 2020
|Launch date||15 January 2013|
|HQ||San Jose, California|
|People||Eric Yuan (founder, CEO)|
|Company type||Public (NASDAQ: ZM)|
Zoom annual revenue
Zoom daily meeting participants
|March 2020||200 million|
|April 2020||300 million|
|December 2020||350 million|
Note: Daily meeting participants can be counted more than once, so it is not an accurate reflection of DAUs
Source: Zoom, Recode
Zoom business customers
How many times was Zoom downloaded in Q2 2020?
Zoom joined a small list of apps, which includes TikTok and Pokemon Go, that have been downloaded over 300 million times in a single quarter (Sensor Tower)
How many schools use Zoom?
Over 90,000 schools used Zoom at the height of the pandemic
How many times was the Zoom mobile app downloaded in 2020?
Zoom was downloaded 485 million times in 2020
How many webinars are hosted on Zoom?
In 2020, over 45 billion minutes of webinars were hosted on the platform