Zoom's having a (pre) post-pandemic crisis, so it's launching Zoom-as-a-Service

Tuesday, March 23, 2021 by Robinhood Snacks | Disclosures

Call her ZaaSy... Zoom has become a verb, a meme, and a lifestyle. Despite that powerful brand clout, Zoom's latest service involves un-branding itself. Zoom will license its video conferencing tech to other apps. We're calling it Zoom-as-a-service.

  • ZaaS: Companies will be able to weave an unbranded version of Zoom into their products. Think: dating apps, telehealth providers, and social media.
  • AaaS: Amazon is sneakily offering something similar with its own video conferencing tools. Those Slack video calls? They happen through Amazon (Bezos is everywhere).

A (pre) post-pandemic crisis... This past year, Zoom has been a coronaconomy star. In 2020, its sales quadrupled to a record $2.7B. In October, it notched a stunning $170B valuation as its stock soared. Since then, three vaccines have started rolling out — and Zoom shares have fallen ~40%. Now, Zoom's looking at other ways to grow.

  • One product, many applications: Instead of launching new products, Zoom is expanding use cases for its existing product (basically, just video).
  • Last year, Zoom announced OnZoom, which lets people charge for events they host (think: pilates class). With Zaas, Zoom is becoming more than just a standalone app — it'll be invisibly integrated into apps you use each day.

Don't let brand drive ego... Sometimes, brands can do more for themselves by unbranding. Just look at Stripe: its brand is "invisible," but it just became America's most valuable startup. Brand recognition is key to consumer-facing businesses like Zoom. But companies can't let their ego get in the way of good opportunities. If Amazon forced Slack to stick "powered by Amazon" on its video calls, Slack might've passed. By setting aside its ego with Zaas, Zoom is giving itself a new post-pandemic growth opportunity.