In April 2011, Yuan Scheinman called to invite him for tea and a demonstration of his new idea.
Scheinman had also left Cisco that month and was well aware of the Yuan background in video and collaboration. They had set up a friendship while working at Cisco, where Yuan established itself as a strong and reliable operator in addition to its engineering credentials. But for Scheinman to know for sure that he did not support a lumpy lunatic, he made two reference talks at Yuan, including one at his station for the meeting.
When he arrived at the Coupa Cafe in Palo Alto, Scheinman said he had signed a $ 250,000 check and just needed Yuan to tell him what name he was going to put on because it was not a company.
Of the market closed Thursday, Scheinman's investment has increased by over 700fold to just under $ 1[ads1]76.5 million, although he is locked from selling for six months.
"I said," I believe in you and I don't care what is in the presentation because this is about you, "Scheinman said in an interview. "He said," For both of our things, can I show you the presentation? ""
Yuan says other investors had committed capital, but Scheinman "was the first to transfer the money to the bank." Scheinman also introduced Yuan to his cousin, Jim Scheinman, founder of Maven Ventures.
Jim not only became an investor and advisor, but helped Yuan achieve four possible names for the company: Zippo, Hangtime, Poppy and Zoom. They ended up picking the last one.
For the first two years of Zoom's history, the company was just a small team – mostly WebEx engineers. The first version of the product was released in 2013, and there were still so few people outside the engineering group that Yuan took upon himself to send an email to any user who canceled a subscription.
Yuan said he would try to get them on a Zoom ring to talk through their problems and see how he can fix them. Sometimes these users will stay firm and even become evangelists, Yuan said.