San Jose (dpa) - The video conference service Zoom wants to become more firmly anchored in the lives of its users after the explosive growth in the corona crisis.
This includes the plan to take over the telephone systems in more companies, as founder and boss Eric Yuan said after presenting current quarterly figures. Zoom recently saw a jump in sales and profits - and also doubled its forecast for the current financial year.
Zoom was originally intended for companies. In the Corona crisis, however, not only the use in the home office increased, but also the use by private individuals as well as for sports courses, church services or education. In April, up to 300 million people attended video conferencing daily, compared to 10 million in December. In May, the number fell somewhat again, financial chief Kelly Steckelberg admitted. However, Zoom anticipates that growth will continue in the long term, she emphasized.
When the tailwind for Zoom began to emerge three months ago due to the corona restrictions, the CFO had warned that it was unclear whether the company would also benefit financially from the influx of new users in the long term. After all, the surge in usage also means higher infrastructure costs. And Zoom had lifted many restrictions on the free version during the crisis.
But the good news for Zoom is that as consumer usage grows, so does its core business with businesses. Zoom now has over 265,000 corporate customers with more than ten employees - four times more than a year ago. And 769 of them - twice as many as a year earlier - spend more than $ 100,000 a year on Zoom's services. According to the new forecast, annual sales of up to $ 1.8 billion (around € 1.6 billion) will be around three times higher than in the previous financial year.
Zoom plans to use the corona boom as a bridgehead for future growth. Yuan said that video conferencing and ordinary telephony could basically be covered with the same product. That is why Zoom sees great opportunities for new business here - even when it comes to private use. "Video conferencing is becoming a consumer business," Yuan said. He sees opportunities here to be able to keep up with the video chat offers of the large tech companies Apple, Google, Facebook and Microsoft, which could not benefit from the corona crisis as much as Zoom - but improved their services.
In the past few months, the rising star Zoom has also been hit by negative headlines - the increased attention from experts revealed security gaps and caused criticism of the encryption concept of the service. In the future, paying customers should also be able to use complete encryption. And if you had to choose between more security or more convenience for users in the future, security would take precedence, Yuan said. Zoom initially did not fully consider the consequences of the wider use by consumers outside of secure corporate infrastructure in the Corona crisis, he conceded.
In the first business quarter, which ended in late April, year-on-year sales rose from $ 122 million to $ 328 million, the company said on Tuesday after the US market closed. The bottom line was around $ 27 million in profit after just around $ 200,000 a year earlier.
Zoom on business in the past quarter