Category: Zoom

Investing in the New World of Remote Work



The following content is sponsored by eToro

Investing in the New World of Remote Work

The COVID-19 pandemic was a major catalyst in the future of work.

We quickly learned that work could be done practically anywhere. To emphasize the impact remote work culture has had, consider the fact that some 71% of Americans did some type of remote work in 2020, compared to just 20% pre-pandemic.

This infographic from eToro dives into the new world of remote work and explores the main trends investors need to know.

Reaping the Benefits

Remote work culture has been met with positivity by both workers and employers. While the benefits may vary from person to person, there are a key few that seem to resonate on a wide scale. For instance, 32% of survey respondents point to flexible scheduling as a top benefit.

Employee Benefits From Remote WorkEmployee Response (%)
Flexible schedule32%
Flexible location25%
No commute22%
Family time11%
Work from home8%
Other2%

In addition to happier workers, productivity has seen an untick as well. About 56% of workers report being slightly or considerably more productive during the pandemic. By contrast, only 28% report being either slightly less or considerably less productive.

Challenges to Address

Of course, the remote trend does not come without its fair share of challenges.

The most notable is being unable to unplug from work. This might be the result of constant and seemingly endless emails, or perhaps the lack of being able (Read more...)

Seeing Red: Is the Heydey of Pandemic Stocks Over?


This post is by Jenna Ross from Visual Capitalist


pandemic stocks

The Briefing

  • Global equities are in a downward spiral, and experienced their worst week in more than a year.
  • Worries about slowing post-COVID demand and rising rates fueled the selloff.
  • Pandemic stocks were some of the hardest hit, with Shopify and Netflix dropping 35.3% and 33.5% respectively.

Seeing Red: Is the Heydey of Pandemic Stocks Over?

The stock market, and the stocks that flourished during the COVID-19 pandemic in particular, are off to a rough start in 2022. If you’ve been watching your investment accounts, chances are you’ve been seeing a lot of red. Shaken by the uncertainty of a pandemic recovery and future interest rate hikes, investors have been selling off their stocks.

This market selloff—which occurs when investors sell a large volume of securities in a short period of time, leading to a rapid decline in price—has investors concerned. In fact, search interest for the term “selloff” recently reached peak interest of 100.

2022 market selloff

Which stocks were the hardest hit, and how much are their prices down so far this year?

The Lackluster Returns of Pandemic Stocks

Pandemic stocks and tech-centric companies have suffered the most. Here’s a closer look at the year-to-date price returns for select stocks.

CompanyYear-to-Date Price Return
Shopify-35.3%
Roblox-30.2%
Block-28.0%
Moderna-31.9%
Zoom-19.9%
Netflix-33.5%
Snapchat-31.1%
Peloton-23.1%
Coinbase-23.5%
DocuSign-26.0%
Amazon-16.3%
Robinhood-29.6%

Price returns are in U.S. dollars based on data from January 3, 2022 to January 21, 2022.

Netflix fueled the selloff after it (Read more...)

Where did the words go?


This post is by Om Malik from On my Om


black text on gray background
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

E. B. White, an essayist for The New Yorker (and author of many books), once said: 

"A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper." 

He probably was describing me — during the last week. At the start of this month, I set myself a goal — blog 500-word pieces every day. It was an effort to become a writing fit. I hope to write for a column for a publication shortly, and I want to regain my writing skills. As you might have gathered, I didn’t hit my goals this week. 

This week’s failure made me reflect on my past. When I was a professional writer (blogger, if you are pedantic), my writing was reactive, whether to some breaking news or a conversation or an interview. And on rare occasions, it would be like a finished lego set — where many bits and pieces from conversations, facts, news events, and theories would all neatly fit together. Whatever it was — being in the flow is a big part of writing steadily — one needs external input to spark internal creativity. 

Another crucial difference, perhaps, is that I have different commitments on my time today than in the past. I am less singular about writing about technology (and its impact) than I used to be. While technology is still a primary lens with how I view my world (and life), I find myself spending more (Read more...)

What does the Internet & Zoom have to do with Nam June Paik?


This post is by Om Malik from On my Om


Self-portrait, made with Paik’s Zen for Film. Made with iPhone 12 Pro Max.

I recently saw the work of Nam June Paik, currently being exhibited at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (MoMA.) 

If you are unfamiliar with him, Paik has been called the “father of video art.” He was born in 1932 in what is now South Korea, lived in Japan, Germany, and the United States. He died in 2006. I have only read about Paik in the magazines but never really experienced his work in person — a shame, considering how much of his work is at the core of modern visual and interactive post-Internet life. 

Take, for instance, his 1968 creation, The Electric Chair. The art piece comprises a CCTV camera pointing down at a chair with a television under the transparent seat. The TV displays the live video feed from the camera. Paik was pointing to a future where video would become a deeply enmeshed part of our lives in creating this work. Looking around, whether it is TikTok, Snap, or Zoom, the Electric Chair is all around us. 

The Chair is just one of the many pieces of work he created that pushed his core belief in an electronic superhighway. He translated that idea into an art installation “constructed of 336 televisions, 50 DVD players, 3,750 feet of cable, and 575 feet of multicolored neon tubing.” Sadly, this piece of art isn’t available for us to see here in San Francisco. For me, (Read more...)

The Zoom-Five9 deal is a big bet for the video conferencing company



Zoom, a well-known video conferencing company, will buy Five9, a company that sells software allowing users to reach customers across platforms, and record notes on their interactions. As TechCrunch noted this morning, the deal is merely “Zoom’s latest attempt to expand its offerings,” having “added several office collaboration products, a cloud phone system, and an all-in-one home communications appliance” to its larger software stack in recent quarters. Both companies are publicly traded.

But the Five9 deal is in a different league than its previous purchases. Indeed, the $14.7 billion transaction represents a material percentage of Zoom’s own value. That tells us that the company is not simply making a purchase in Five9, but is instead making a large bet that the combination of its business and that of the smaller company will prove rather accretive.

Zoom is worth $101.8 billion as of the time of writing, with the company’s shares slipping just over 4% today; the stock market is largely off this morning, making Zoom’s share price movements less indicative of investor reaction to the deal that we might think. Still, it doesn’t appear that the street is excessively thrilled by news of Zoom’s purchase.

That perspective may be reasonable, given that the Five9 transaction is worth nearly 15% of Zoom’s total market cap; the company is betting a little less than a sixth of its value on a single wager.

Not that Five9 doesn’t bring a lot to the table. In its most recent quarter, Five9 (Read more...)

Equity Monday: Zoom buys Five9 as Robinhood sets IPO price range



Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

This is Equity Monday, our weekly kickoff that tracks the latest private market news, talks about the coming week, digs into some recent funding rounds and mulls over a larger theme or narrative from the private markets. You can follow the show on Twitter here and myself here.

It was a big damn morning, so we had to cut some stuff. Here’s what we got into:

  • Stocks and cryptos are off this morning, as inflation and COVID-19 concerns rise.
  • Zoom is buying Five9. The deal is not super expensive, nor is it cheap. But given the huge percentage of Zoom’s market cap that it represents, it’s a serious wager from the video conferencing startup.
  • Carlyle is buying LiveU for around $400 million. TechCrunch broke this news. The deal shows that private equity interest in startups that aren’t unicorns.
  • Robinhood dropped a new SEC filing this morning! That means we have a price range and valuation target to play with. More from TechCrunch on the matter shortly.
  • From India: A huge round for Lenskart, and a big Series A for GlobalBees.
  • And we covered this round from Nigeria. A smaller transaction, but one that could prove to be quite neat, we reckon.

Ok! Chat Wednesday!

Equity drops every Monday at 7:00 a.m. PST, Wednesday, and Friday at 6:00 a.m. PST, so subscribe to us on Apple PodcastsOvercastSpotify and all the casts!

Zoom buys cloud call center firm Five9 for $14.7 billion



Zoom is taking advantage of the impressive rise in its stock price in the past year to make its first major acquisition. The popular video conferencing firm, which was valued at about $9 billion at its IPO two years ago, said Sunday evening it has agreed a deal to buy cloud call centre service provider Five9 for about $14.7 billion in an all-stock transaction.

20-year-old Five9 will become an operating unit of Zoom after the deal, which is expected to close in the first half of 2022, the two firms said.

The proposed acquisition is Zoom’s latest attempt to expand its offerings. In the past year, the video conferencing software has added several office collaboration products, a cloud phone system, and an all-in-one home communications appliance.

The acquisition of Five9 — which has amassed over 2,000 customers worldwide including Citrix and Under Armour and processes over 7 billion minutes of calls annually — will help Zoom enter the “$24 billion” market for contact centers, the company said.

“We are continuously looking for ways to enhance our platform, and the addition of Five9 is a natural fit that will deliver even more happiness and value to our customers,” said Eric S. Yuan, founder and chief executive of Zoom, in a statement.

Joining forces will offer both firms “significant” cross-selling opportunities in each other’s respective customer bases, the two firms said.

“Businesses spend significant resources annually on their contact centers, but still struggle to deliver a seamless experience for their (Read more...)

Zoom to acquire German startup to bring real-time translation to meetings



As companies expand worldwide, and meet online in tools like Zoom, the language barrier can be a real impediment to getting work done. Zoom announced that it intends to acquire German startup Karlsruhe Information Technology Solutions or Kites for short, to bring real-time machine learning-based translation to the platform.

The companies did not share the terms of the deal, but with Kites, the company gets a team of top researchers, who can help enhance the machine learning translation knowledge at the company. “Kites’ talented team of 12 research scientists will help Zoom’s engineering team advance the field of [machine translation] to improve meeting productivity and efficiency by providing multi-language translation capabilities for Zoom users,” the company said in a statement.

The deal appears to be an acquihire as the company adds those 12 researchers to the Zoom engineering group. It intends to leave the team in place in Germany with plans to build a machine learning translation R&D center with additional hires over time as the company puts more resources into this area.

While the Kites website reveals little about it other than an address, the company About page on LinkedIn indicates that the startup was founded in 2015 by two researchers who taught at Carnegie Mellon and Karlsruhe Institute of Technology with the goal of building machine learning translation tooling.

“The Kites mission is to break down language barriers and make seamless cross language interaction a reality of everyday life,” the LinkedIn overview stated. It claims to be among (Read more...)

The SPAC trash ticker is counting down



Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

This week had the whole crew aboard to record: Grace and Chris making us sound good, Danny to provide levity, Natasha to actually recall facts, and Alex to divert us from staying on topic. It’s teamwork, people – and our transitions are proof of it.

And it’s good that we had everyone around the virtual table as there was quite a lot to get through:

  • Team felt all kinds of ways about the Amazon-MGM deal. Some of us are more positive about than the rest, but what gists out from the transaction is that for Amazon, the purchase price is modest and the company is famously playing a supposedly long-game. Let’s see how James Bond fits into it. Alex receives four points for not bringing up F1 thanks to the Bond-Aston Martin connection.
  • Turning to the SPAC game, we chatted through the recent Lordstown Motors earnings results, and what we can parse from them regarding blank-check companies, promises, and reality.
  • After launching last June with just $2 million, Collab Capital has closed its debut fund at its target goal: $50 million. The Black-led firm invests exclusively in Black-led startups, and got checks from Apple, PayPal, and Mailchimp to name a few. We talk about this feat, and note a few other Black-led venture capital firms making waves in the industry lately.
  • We Resolved our transition puns and (Read more...)

The SPAC trash ticker is counting down



Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

This week had the whole crew aboard to record: Grace and Chris making us sound good, Danny to provide levity, Natasha to actually recall facts, and Alex to divert us from staying on topic. It’s teamwork, people – and our transitions are proof of it.

And it’s good that we had everyone around the virtual table as there was quite a lot to get through:

  • Team felt all kinds of ways about the Amazon-MGM deal. Some of us are more positive about than the rest, but what gists out from the transaction is that for Amazon, the purchase price is modest and the company is famously playing a supposedly long-game. Let’s see how James Bond fits into it. Alex receives four points for not bringing up F1 thanks to the Bond-Aston Martin connection.
  • Turning to the SPAC game, we chatted through the recent Lordstown Motors earnings results, and what we can parse from them regarding blank-check companies, promises, and reality.
  • After launching last June with just $2 million, Collab Capital has closed its debut fund at its target goal: $50 million. The Black-led firm invests exclusively in Black-led startups, and got checks from Apple, PayPal, and Mailchimp to name a few. We talk about this feat, and note a few other Black-led venture capital firms making waves in the industry lately.
  • We Resolved our transition puns and (Read more...)