Live Updates: COVID-19 Cases
  • World 19,604,744
    World
    Confirmed: 19,604,744
    Active: 6,292,208
    Recovered: 12,587,484
    Death: 725,052
  • USA 5,100,004
    USA
    Confirmed: 5,100,004
    Active: 2,317,793
    Recovered: 2,618,031
    Death: 164,180
  • Brazil 2,967,064
    Brazil
    Confirmed: 2,967,064
    Active: 798,968
    Recovered: 2,068,394
    Death: 99,702
  • India 2,114,140
    India
    Confirmed: 2,114,140
    Active: 628,136
    Recovered: 1,443,183
    Death: 42,821
  • Russia 882,347
    Russia
    Confirmed: 882,347
    Active: 177,286
    Recovered: 690,207
    Death: 14,854
  • South Africa 545,476
    South Africa
    Confirmed: 545,476
    Active: 140,808
    Recovered: 394,759
    Death: 9,909
  • Mexico 469,407
    Mexico
    Confirmed: 469,407
    Active: 104,710
    Recovered: 313,386
    Death: 51,311
  • Peru 463,875
    Peru
    Confirmed: 463,875
    Active: 128,894
    Recovered: 314,332
    Death: 20,649
  • Chile 368,825
    Chile
    Confirmed: 368,825
    Active: 16,699
    Recovered: 342,168
    Death: 9,958
  • Spain 361,442
    Spain
    Confirmed: 361,442
    Active: 332,939
    Recovered: ?
    Death: 28,503
  • Iran 324,692
    Iran
    Confirmed: 324,692
    Active: 24,306
    Recovered: 282,122
    Death: 18,264
  • UK 309,005
    UK
    Confirmed: 309,005
    Active: 262,494
    Recovered: ?
    Death: 46,511
  • Saudi Arabia 287,262
    Saudi Arabia
    Confirmed: 287,262
    Active: 33,692
    Recovered: 250,440
    Death: 3,130
  • Pakistan 283,487
    Pakistan
    Confirmed: 283,487
    Active: 17,815
    Recovered: 259,604
    Death: 6,068
  • Bangladesh 255,113
    Bangladesh
    Confirmed: 255,113
    Active: 105,144
    Recovered: 146,604
    Death: 3,365
  • Italy 249,756
    Italy
    Confirmed: 249,756
    Active: 12,924
    Recovered: 201,642
    Death: 35,190
  • Turkey 238,450
    Turkey
    Confirmed: 238,450
    Active: 11,063
    Recovered: 221,574
    Death: 5,813
  • Germany 216,562
    Germany
    Confirmed: 216,562
    Active: 9,905
    Recovered: 197,400
    Death: 9,257
  • France 197,921
    France
    Confirmed: 197,921
    Active: 84,761
    Recovered: 82,836
    Death: 30,324
  • Canada 118,985
    Canada
    Confirmed: 118,985
    Active: 6,580
    Recovered: 103,435
    Death: 8,970
  • China 84,596
    China
    Confirmed: 84,596
    Active: 839
    Recovered: 79,123
    Death: 4,634
  • Netherlands 57,987
    Netherlands
    Confirmed: 57,987
    Active: 51,830
    Recovered: ?
    Death: 6,157
  • Australia 20,698
    Australia
    Confirmed: 20,698
    Active: 9,100
    Recovered: 11,320
    Death: 278
  • S. Korea 14,562
    S. Korea
    Confirmed: 14,562
    Active: 629
    Recovered: 13,629
    Death: 304
  • New Zealand 1,569
    New Zealand
    Confirmed: 1,569
    Active: 23
    Recovered: 1,524
    Death: 22

Zoom booms as pandemic drive millions to its video service

Author at TechGenyz Apps
Zoom
Zoom Video Conference App. Credit: @CityAM/Twitter

Zoom Video Communications is rapidly emerging as the latest internet gold mine as millions of people flock to its conferencing service to see colleagues, friends, and family while tethered to their homes during the pandemic.

Tuesday’s release of the once-obscure company’s financial results for the February-April period provided a window into the astronomical growth that has turned it into a Wall Street star.

Zoom’s revenue for its fiscal first-quarter more than doubled from the same time last year to USD 328 million, resulting in a profit of USD 27 million up from just USD 198,000 a year ago.

The numbers exceeded analysts’ already heightened expectations, providing another lift to a rocketing stock that has more than tripled in price so far this year while the benchmark Standard & Poor’s 500 index has fallen 5 per cent.

After a big run-up leading up to Tuesday’s highly anticipated announcement, Zoom’s stock initially rose even higher in extended trading. But it abruptly reversed course and fell more than 3 percent after company executives acknowledged during a video discussion that some of its newfound users might depart during the second half of the year if health worries caused by the novel coronavirus dissipate.

Even if the shares trade in a similar fashion during Wednesday’s regular session, the stock will still be hovering around 200 more than five times the company’s initial public offering price of 36 less than 14 months ago.

The surge left Zoom with a market value of about 59 billion through Tuesday greater than the combined market values of the four largest U.S. airlines, which have seen their businesses hammered by the coronavirus outbreak that has dramatically curtailed travel.

Videoconferencing is going to become a mainstream service,” predicted Zoom CEO Eric Yuan, who co-founded the company nine years ago. He made the remarks during the video conference that at one point attracted more than 3,000 participants, a reflection of the intense interest in the company and its hot stock.

In a sign that the company still expects phenomenal growth in the months ahead, Zoom forecast revenue of roughly 500 million for its current quarter ending in July, more than quadrupling from the same time last year. For its full fiscal year, Zoom now expects revenue of about 1.8 billion, nearly tripling in a year.

Zoom’s boom has come despite privacy and security problems that enabled outsiders to make uninvited and sometimes crude appearances during other people’s video conferences.

The concerns prompted some schools to stop using Zoom for online classes that have become widespread since February, although the company’s efforts to introduce more security protection has brought some back to the service. More than 100,000 schools worldwide are now using Zoom for online classes, according to the company.

Overall, Zoom now has more than 300 million daily participants attending a meeting held on its service, up from 10 million five months ago. Those numbers include people who join multiple Zoom meetings during the same day, something that has been happening more recently in recent months.

But the once-weak privacy controls also helped make Zoom extremely easy to use, one of the reasons it became such a popular way to hold online classes, business meetings and virtual cocktail hours after most of the U.S. began ordering people to stay at home in effort to reduce the spread of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

Zoom also offers a free version of its service, another factor in its popularity at a time when about 40 million people in the US have lost their jobs since mid-March, raising the specter of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

The San Jose, California, company has always made most of its money from companies that subscribe to a more sophisticated version of its service that traditionally has been used for business meetings among employees working in offices far apart from each other.

But the pandemic-driven shutdown turned Zoom into a tool for employees who once worked alongside each other, but have been doing their jobs from home during the past few months.

Zoom ended April with 265,400 corporate customers with at least 10 employees, more than quadrupling from the same time last year. About 30 per cent of the company’s revenue in the most recent quarter came from users with fewer than 10 employees, up from 20% in the November-January period.

Although Zoom remains focused on servicing its corporate customers, Yuan is hoping to figure out ways to make money from the all the socializing and learning that is happening on the service, too. Some analysts have speculated that eventually may involve showing ads on the free version of Zoom, although the company hasn’t given any indication it will do that. There are a lot of opportunities ahead of us,” Yuan said in Tuesday’s video conference without elaborating.

If it hopes to continue to expand, Zoom also will likely have to do a better job of protecting the privacy of its video conferences. To help achieve that goal, Yuan has been consulting since April with Alex Stamos, a highly respected online security expert who previously worked at Yahoo and Facebook. Both those companies encountered their only security and privacy problems, too.

Zoom’s success is also drawing stiffer competition from much larger companies, including Microsoft, Google, and Facebook.

Career

Subscribe