Eyeing virtual reality, Zoom lands massive $100M Series D funding round

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Zoom Video Communications Inc., the Santa Clara, California-based startup that’s bidding to disrupt the online video communications industry, has just landed $100 million in new funding.

The Series D funding round brings its total funding to $145.5 million and puts its valuation over the $1 billion mark. The round was led by Sequoia Capital Operations LLC, with participation from Emergence Capital, Jerry Yang’s AME Cloud Ventures and Qualcomm Ventures. Sequoia partner Carl Eschenbach also is joining Zoom’s board.

Besides the funding update, Zoom also announced the general availability of version 4.0 of its platform that includes new developer tools and enhanced enterprise features.

Zoom founder and Chief Executive Eric Yuan founded his company back in 2011 after having served as vice president of engineering at Cisco Systems Inc.’s WebEx, one of the video conferencing incumbents he’s now trying to disrupt. The company says its multi-platform system delivers high-quality video and audio regardless of the platform used.

Zoom now counts more than 450,000 companies among its users, and claimed more than 15 billion annual meeting minutes on its platform in the last year, with an average of one million meeting participants on a daily basis. In an interview with SiliconANGLE, Yuan attributed the company’s stunning growth to the failure of legacy providers to address the growing demand for cloud-based video conferencing. Traditional video conferencing firms(such as WebEx and Citrix Systems Inc. were at first quite slow to address bring-your-own-device trends in the enterprise, he said, and Zoom has stepped in to fill the void.

Zoom plans to use its new funding to invest in new technologies such as virtual reality and augmented reality, which it wants to incorporate in its communications platform.

As for the Zoom 4.0 release, the biggest news here is the incorporation of the new Zoom Developer Portal and Zoom MobileRTC Platform, which will enable developers to business and mobile applications with embedded video, voice and screen sharing capabilities. Other additions include a new Zoom Rooms controller apps for Android tablets, enhanced enterprise management features and a new teleconferencing adapter that allows third-party teleconferencing services to be integrated with the platform.