Monday, January 30, 2017
Saturday, January 28, 2017
Zoom, the cloud video conferencing service, announced a $100 million Series D round, entirely funded by Sequoia. The company now boasts a $1 billion valuation, putting it in the unicorn club.
It also announced a significant update to the product that includes the ability for customers and third parties to build applications on top of the Zoom platform.
The company, which was cash-flow positive last quarter, had previously raised $45.5 million. It actually wasn’t even looking for funding, according CEO Eric S. Yuan, when Sequoia came knocking. Sequoia had been looking for a company in the video conferencing space when it heard about Zoom from its portfolio clients.
“We had been watching the video conferencing space for many years because we were convinced that it was a huge market primed for innovation. But we couldn’t find a product that customers loved to use. That changed when our portfolio companies started raving to us about Zoom,” a Sequoia spokesperson told TechCrunch.
As for Yuan, he said when Sequoia approached him, he decided to go for a large sum as a proactive measure. Instead of coming up with an idea, and trying to get budget, he wanted cash on hand — and he found a willing partner in Sequoia. In fact as part of the deal, Sequoia partner Carl Eschenbach, who led the investment, will be joining the Zoom board.
What Sequoia saw in Zoom, was an experienced founder, who helped launch WebEx before selling the company to Cisco for an impressive $3.2 billion in 2007. Yuan candidly states that he made a mistake when he sold it to Cisco, in spite of the huge acquisition price.
That’s because back in 2007, Cisco was purely a networking hardware company. He says the Cisco team never understood his company or SaaS for that matter, and eventually tried to fold it into a social networking product. It’s worth noting that since that time, Cisco has moved hard into software via an aggressive acquisition strategy, but those were early days in that approach, and he said that he struggled with the company to make changes to the software.
He decided to start his own company in 2011 to address some of the issues he was hearing about from customers. He says part of the problem was with WebEx’s core code, which he had written 1998. He wanted to create a new video service on top of a modern cloud architecture. WebEx remains a big rival for Zoom with a huge installed base.
As for the update, it’s a classic cloud platform play. The dream of most cloud providers is to offer more than a service. It’s to become a platform on top of which companies build products. Salesforce was the first company to try this approach when it launched Force.com in 2008, and pretty much every SaaS company since has wanted to become a platform. The trouble is getting to sufficient scale, but with 450,000 businesses, including 5800 educational institutions, Zoom certainly has that scale.
Zoom, which has over 400 employees, will likely expand with the massive new investment, but Yuan wasn’t going to commit to anything just yet. He describes himself as “a conservative entrepreneur” and he will bank the money and invest in the parts of the company that require it, as the time is right.
Wednesday, January 25, 2017
1. DEPUTY FROM SYDNEY BANKS $33 MILLION
2. GREENSYNC FROM MELBOURNE BANKS $11.5 MILLION
3. LOCAL MEASURE FROM SYDNEY BANKS $4.5 MILLION
4. POSTR FROM NEW ZEALAND BANKS $3 MILLION
5. AUSSIE EXPAT PROCESS STREET BANKS $1.3 MILLION
Monday, January 23, 2017
Tuesday, January 17, 2017
A rising “new guard” are officially the most valuable companies in the world: Apple, Alphabet/Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook.
*Originally published on VC Cafe
“Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future.” Niels Bohr
Hope your 2017 is off to a great start. With more VCs blogging, it’s great to see the plethora of predictions being shared. Below is a selection of themes and predictions for startups/venture/tech in 2017. This doesn’t include the various lists of ‘hot startups to watch’ (where normally there’s a correlation between the startup and the recommending VC’s portfolio), but more general trends from VCs, sector specific predictions from other organizations, and 2016 annual industry reports.
2017 VC Predictions
- Accel 2017 state of the union — http://www.businessinsider.com/accel-2017-vc-predictions-2016-11?IR=T
- Fred Wilson — USV — What is going to happen in 2017 — http://avc.com/2017/01/what-is-going-to-happen-in-2017/
- Point Nine Capital — 2017 team predictions — https://medium.com/point-nine-news/point-nine-capital-2017-team-predictions-837d1c7f80f7#.kpptndtd4
- Norwest Venture Partners — 2017 Enterprise predictions — https://techcrunch.com/gallery/top-predictions-on-tech-in-2017-from-norwest-venture-partners/
- Alexander Ruppert — Earlybird VC predictions 2017 — https://medium.com/birds-view/vc-predictions-2017-90b28deada63#.fjwafnimj
- Blake Robbins — Ludlow Ventures — Predictions for 2017 — https://associate.vc/predictions-for-2017-4304a3127d25#.xulj07ub3
- Chris Rust — Clear Ventures — Predictions for Enterprise IT 2017 — https://medium.com/@chrisrust/clear-predictions-for-enterprise-it-in-2017-2605a5498954#.e6nr2sa9x
- Thomas Grota -Deutsche Telekom Venture Capital — The end of Corporate VC as we know it & “assistant first” for developers https://medium.com/@thomasgr/predictions-2017-return-of-the-empire-striking-back-505bf842e7c8#.2yia4gttu
- Gil Dibner — Venture Capital forecasts in 2017 — https://medium.com/yankeesabralimey/10-thoughts-from-a-vc-on-enterprise-tech-in-2017-390da5fb870b#.3rm3kbjb4
- VentureBeat — What top Silicon Valley investors expect in 2017 — http://venturebeat.com/2016/12/26/vc-predictions-for-2017/
- Pitchbook — VC, PE and M&A Bold Predictions for 2017 — https://pitchbook.com/news/articles/2016-year-in-review-our-takeaways-and-predictions
- Matt Murphy — Menlo Ventures — 2017 will be a strong year for Venture Capital — https://techcrunch.com/2016/12/30/2017-will-be-a-strong-year-for-venture-capital/
- Inc.com — Top 5 VCs predict the biggest tech change coming in the next five years — http://www.inc.com/jessica-stillman/5-top-vcs-predict-the-biggest-tech-change-coming-in-the-next-five-years.html
- Richard Dulude — Underscore.vc — Three big tech predictions for 2017 — https://medium.com/@dulude/predictions-for-2017-2feefa60d356#.j9xaxxq3a
- Boris Wertz — Version One Ventures — Cryptocurrency’s second act: the rise of Ethereum and what’s in store for 2017 — https://medium.com/@bwertz/cryptocurrencys-second-act-the-rise-of-ethereum-and-what-s-in-store-for-2017-50905003656e#.rhwdab8xw
Non VC Tech Predictions
- Kickstarter — Tech Predictions 2017 — https://medium.com/kickstarter/our-tech-predi
- John Battelle — My 2016 predictions — How’d I do? https://shift.newco.co/my-2016-predictions-howd-i-do-5f0b7be13541#.80u6jienr
- Recode — the top 10 tech developments for 2017 — http://www.recode.net/2017/1/3/14154874/2017-predictions-top-10-technology-mobile-ai-smart-home
- Deloitte — Global TMT Predictions 2017 — https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/pages/technology-media-and-telecommunications/articles/tmt-predictions.html
- MobileHealthNews — 8 digital health predictions — http://www.mobihealthnews.com/content/eight-digital-health-predictions-2017
- Mashable — Content Marketing in 2017 — http://mashable.com/2016/12/21/content-marketing-2017/#O757zHsTAZq4
- Techcrunch — Digital Media Predictions 2017 — https://techcrunch.com/gallery/top-10-digital-media-predictions-for-2017/
- Signal Labs — Security Tech Predictions — https://labs.signalsciences.com/six-security-and-tech-predictions-for-2017-3048af3a7377?
- PC Magazine — Business Tech Predictions: 10 Ways AI, Big Data, and Cloud Will Evolve in 2017 — https://medium.com/pcmag-access/business-tech-predictions-10-ways-ai-big-data-and-cloud-will-evolve-in-2017-21336de0bf40#.pix2l6v53
- Eric Newcomer — Bloomberg Technology — Predictions for 2017 — https://medium.com/bloomberg/predictions-for-2017-d3922bfb3e58#.t4rxnwi0w
- App Annie — 2017 Predictions for the app economy — https://medium.com/app-insights/2017-predictions-for-the-app-economy-4af6ad7dd02c#.9pidma5dd
- Crowdflower — 7 AI predictions for 2017 — https://medium.com/@CrowdFlower/7-ai-predictions-for-2017-738cb3e2fac1#.3i5cqwj2e
- Forbes — Trends in tech investing 2017 — http://www.forbes.com/sites/mnewlands/2016/12/05/trends-in-tech-investing-2017/#5eb4a6befa14
- MedCityNews — What’s the Health Tech investment and M&A Outlook in 2017? — http://medcitynews.com/2016/12/whats-health-tech-investment-ma-outlook-2017/
- Forbes — Talent, Business and HR Predictions for 2017 — http://www.forbes.com/sites/joshbersin/2016/12/11/how-everything-is-becoming-digital-and-why-businesses-must-adapt-now
- Time — Tech Predictions for 2017 — http://time.com/4609004/tech-predictions-2017/
- Gartner — Top 10 strategic predictions for 2017 and beyond — http://www.forbes.com/sites/gartnergroup/2016/11/15/gartners-top-10-strategic-predictions-for-2017-and-beyond/#3f32334530d0
- Nesta — 10 trends, social movements and technological breakthroughs set to shape the agenda during the next 12 months — http://www.nesta.org.uk/news/2017-predictions
- Information Age — 10 Predictions for IOT and Big Data in 2017 — http://www.information-age.com/10-predictions-internet-things-big-data-2017-123463379/
- WSJ — 2017 — Chatbots will reshape messaging apps — http://www.wsj.com/articles/michael-wolf-chatbots-will-reshape-messaging-apps-1477437092
2016 Annual Tech & VC Reports
- Crunchbase 2016 annual report — http://static.crunchbase.com/reports/annual_2016_yf42a/crunchbase_annual_2016.pdf?utm_source=autopilot&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=YIR2016&utm_content=YIR
- CBInsights and PWC Moneytree report — https://www.cbinsights.com/research-venture-capital-reports-q4-2016?
- Tracxn 100 investment themes VCs are excited about — https://blog.tracxn.com/exciting-investment-themes-2016?
- SVB Health Investment trends report — https://www.svb.com/healthcare-investments-exits-report/
- KKR Macro economic outlook 2017 — http://www.kkr.com/global-perspectives/publications/outlook-2017-paradigm-shift
- Pitchbook NVCA Venture Monitor Q4 2016 — http://reports.pitchbook.com/4q-2016-pitchbook-nvca-venture-monitor/?utm_source=nl-na&utm_campaign=4q-2016-venture-monitor&utm_medium=report
- Frost & Sullivan — Stratecast predictions 2017 — the year ahead — http://corpcom.frost.com/forms/NA_PR_CCastaneda_A314_Jan17
- Forrester Research — Predictions 2017 — https://go.forrester.com/research/predictions/?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=2016_aoc_cx
- CB Insights — 2016 Tech in Review — https://www.cbinsights.com/research-2016-tech-in-review
- Dow Jones — US Venture Capital Report Q4 2016 — https://images.dowjones.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/43/2017/01/12135110/DJ-VentureSource-US4Q16.pdf
See something missing? please link to it in the comments.