Zoom Video Communications, Inc. (A) :Origins to IPO Planning and Road Show Pitching
In early April 2019, the executive team of San Jose-based Zoom Video Communications gathered in the company conference room to strategize about their messaging for a planned IPO, an event that only a few years earlier would have seemed improbable to many. Indeed, when Zoom founder and CEO Eric Yuan had first sought venture capital funding to start his company back in 2011, he was turned down countless times. “A new video conferencing entrant at this stage?” wrote Patrick Eggen, of Counterpart Ventures, describing the general response. “No commercial data points, massively saturated market, limited funding to enter the SME space (ughh) and founder with no CEO experience. Red flags galore.”
But Yuan was absolutely convinced that the world did, in fact, need a new video conferencing solution—one that would not merely suffice, but far surpass the “terrible” existing options and make its users downright happy. So he ignored the naysayers and refused to give up—and the rest is history. This case details the story of Zoom Video Communications from its earliest origins as an idea that came to Yuan while he was a student riding a train in China to its IPO in 2019. It includes interviews with key Zoom executives, including Eric Yuan. A forthcoming B case will continue the story.