Part of what we are building at Zash Ventures is about the decisions that Entrepreneurs make at the early stage, the formation of creating a startup.
All these decisions have a direct impact on the success of a growing startup and the proceeding years leading towards the growth and exit strategies into the future.
Future proofing the business for example is one thing that must be considered early on in the journey. This includes filing patent applications that may take 5-7 years to get approval in different jurisdictions.
In many cases these technologies are created and envisioned, for adoption in 5-10 years into the future. In saying this it is imperative to protect future IP of the business at an infancy stage.
We have all lived through this one in a century pandemic that we have experienced over the last two years, which has resulted in rapid adoption of many of these technologies at a record pace. Globally one of the most significant shifts have been in the adoption of digital.
The Zoom Story
Zoom is a classic example of a young entrepreneur who at the time was working for a new web conferencing company Webex. In between his day’s off he would sit in his room and code all night, and was part of Webex listing in the year 2000. It was sold in 2007 and Yuan led an 800 strong engineering team throughout this time.
It would appear that Yuan had the world at his feet however Yuan was unhappy with Webex and its platform. He was frustrated with the limitations of Webex using multiple platforms over Iphone, Android PC and Mac. This frustration led Yuan into leaving his role in spite of the surprise and shock of his wife, and started Zoom with an initial $250,000 dollar cheque round.
At the time he had stiff competition from the likes of Microsoft with Skype and Google via Hangouts, which led to sceptics in the VC world in the early days of Zoom’s history . Juan kept going and scaling Zoom, and received a massive breakthrough in 2017 when global VC firm Sequoia lead its series D round in early 2017 valuing the business at over $1 billion.
Fast forward into 2021, Zoom is now valued at over $ 89 Billion on the Nasdaq US stock exchange. An amazing journey that was born out of one Entrepreneur’s frustrations and inadvertently a beneficiary of the pandemic with the mass adoption of working from home with over 50 percent market share of video conferencing.
Lessons from Zoom Story
- Trust the convictions you hold- If you have experience and see a problem that needs to be solved, why not start !!
- Plant the seed and have a growth mindset
- Competition is actually healthy, it shows you are on the right path
- Look for the right capital partners for growth and path to IPO
At Zash, we are all about forming that initial spark and growth mindset and assisting ambitious entrepreneurs scale.
Whether that’s positing the business for a 3-5 year trade sale, or laying the foundations for a new business . Our mantra really is that everything does start somewhere!!