All Founders Stories

Eric S. Yuan

Founder & CEO at Zoom Video Communications, Inc.


Eric’s college years 📖

During Eric’s college years in China, he had to take long train rides to see his girlfriend.

He did not like those and wanted an easier way to see her. 🙇‍♂️

Because of this, the idea of video conferencing software came up in Eric’s mind. He knew then -

the idea was solid, but the technology was not there yet.


The speech that changed everything 🌐

A few years after Eric entered the workforce, he attended a speech that was given by Bill Gates.

Back then, Bill Gates was Microsoft's CEO and recognized the internet's promise.

He was a huge advocate for it and his speech reflected exactly that.


Eric's Decision 🤔

Bill Gates' speech had a huge impact on Eric.

He too, believed in the potential of the internet and wanted to make a mark in the tech world.

Unfortunately back then, the internet hadn’t taken off in China like it had in the US.

Because of this, Eric made the decision to move to the Silicon Valley.


Move to Silicon Valley! ✈️

However, moving to the US was hard. Eric had to apply for a US visa 9 times till his application finally got accepted.

When Eric moved to the United States, he settled in San Jose, California.

He spoke very little english and joined a startup called WebEx, a video conferencing company.🖥️


Eric moves up the ranks👨🏻‍💼

A talented coder, Eric quickly moved up the ranks of the startup.

In that period, WebEx grew quickly and became public in a few years. WebEx was also noticed by tech giant Cisco.

Cisco eventually bought WebEx for a reported $3.2 million USD.


But something wasn't right 😕

All this time, Eric wasn’t happy. He was slightly embarrassed -

as he did not meet a single happy customer while working there.

Eric recognized many facets of the software that were inefficient. And he knew how they could be improved.


It was time to go 🧱

Eric attempted many innovation initiatives within the company. But he kept hitting brick walls with the management.

It was then that Eric decided to quit. It was time for him to try something out on his own.

Around 40 fellow engineers followed him to his new venture.


Developing Zoom 👨‍💻

After leaving his company, Eric raised $3 million USD and began working on the software of his vision - a user-friendly video conferencing tool.

Eric knew what steps to take and what mistakes not to make. He also knew where there was scope for improvement.


Zoom is up and running! 🙌

After a few months of development, Zoom was officially launched in 2013

Within the first few months of its release,

  • Zoom hit 1 million users
  • Raised $6.5 million USD in its series B funding.


Zoom blooms! (into a unicorn) 🦄

With its slow but steady growth, Zoom’s trajectory was on an incline.

In a series D funding round, Zoom raised a $200 million investment from venture capital firm Seqouia capital.

With this funding, it also earned the title of a tech Unicorn - with a valuation of $ 1 billion USD.

All startups seem like failures till they become an overnight success.


Zoom goes vroom vroom! (to wall street) 🚀

Zoom went public on the NASDAQ in April 2019.

  • Within the first few days, its stock price rose by 72%, skyrocketing its valuation to almost $16 billion.
  • Zoom became one of the most promising and valuable IPOs in the market.


Zoom boom! (in the pandemic) 💥

With the onslaught of the pandemic, Zoom’s rise to the top was unrivaled.

Within a year, its user base increased from 10 million to 300 million.

But with the rise in its users, there was a rise in challenges.

Instead of crashing under pressure, the team rose to the occasion and flourished.

The best marketing for your startup is done by your customers.


Zooming in to the future! ⭐

As of 2022, Zoom doesn’t seem to be slowing down. With over 500,000 customers, Zoom made around $1 billion USD in revenue last year.

For the future, Eric’s vision lies beyond the digital conference room. His ambitions lie in redefining how we communicate. According to him, "The best is yet to come"

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