Daily Mail

The Zoom BOOM

Com­pany no­body had heard of be­fore Covid is now big­ger than HSBC and Lloyds put to­gether

- by Francesca Washtell Business · Zoom Video Communications · United Kingdom · The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited · Lloyds TSB Group · New York City · English · Beijing · United States of America · Cisco Systems · Cisco, Minnesota

A VIDEO con­fer­enc­ing com­pany that few had heard of be­fore lock­down is now worth more than Bri­tain’s two big­gest lenders com­bined fol­low­ing an ex­plo­sion of peo­ple work­ing from home.

Yes­ter­day shares in Zoom soared by 41pc after it re­vealed prof­its had rock­eted by more than 3,000pc be­tween May and July.

This added more than £25bn to its value, mean­ing it is now worth about £96bn – more than HSBC and Lloyds Bank­ing Group put to­gether.

It also means its bil­lion­aire founder Eric Yuan has seen his for­tune rise by al­most £4bn to £12.3bn, according to Bloomberg data.

The New York-listed firm saw a huge increase in users as coun­tries in­tro­duced strict mea­sures to stem the spread of the pan­demic.

It be­came an es­sen­tial tool used by fam­i­lies and firms around the world to stay in touch dur­ing lock­down.

The num­ber of busi­ness cus­tomers with ten or more em­ploy­ees that signed up to its ser­vices over the three-month pe­riod surged from 66,300 to 370,200 – a rise of 458pc.

In the UK its pop­u­lar­ity boomed as peo­ple turned to ‘ video hang­outs’ to call loved ones, host pub quizzes and run vir­tual ver­sions of can­celled events.

Its as­tro­nom­i­cal rise has smashed Wall Street’s ex­pec­ta­tions, with the Sil­i­con Val­ley­based tech firm re­veal­ing it raked in as much rev­enue be­tween May and June as it did in the whole of last year.

Turnover rose 355pc to £500m over the three months – com­pared with £464m for the en­tire pre­vi­ous year. And prof­its jumped from £4.1m to £140m.

But an­a­lysts have warned that the as­ton­ish­ing rise will not last once work­ers be­gin re­turn­ing to of­fices. But in the UK, some of the big­gest com­pa­nies have an­nounced plans for staff to con­tinue work­ing from home for the rest of this year.

After two quar­ters of ram­pant growth dur­ing the coro­n­avirus cri­sis, the com­pany’s share price has risen by 566pc since the start of the year. Yuan, now 50, spoke lit­tle English when he em­i­grated from China to the US at the age of 27.

He founded Zoom in 2011 after his bosses at tele­coms gi­ant Cisco re­fused to back his idea to cre­ate a Zoom-like prod­uct. But as well as its pop­u­lar­ity soar­ing, Zoom has also faced crit­i­cism over pri­vacy and se­cu­rity prac­tices.

It is fac­ing prob­lems with ‘zoom bomb­ing’, in which pranksters hi­jack other peo­ple’s Zoom events and in­sult those present with racist lan­guage and hate speech. It is also fac­ing scru­tiny for its ties with China.

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