Reliance Jio – Zoom’s competitor
Zoom Video Communications Inc has been on an absolute tear ever since the global lockdowns began. ZM stock has grown by a staggering 142% since mid-March 2020. With social distancing and work-from-home becoming big themes as a result of the pandemic, demand for video conferencing and distance education has skyrocketed. The company reported strong Q12021 results. Revenues were up 169% Y-o-Y to $328.2 million. The number of customers, who have 10 or more employees, was up 354% Y-o-Y at 265,400.
However, Zoom now faces a formidable new competitor. Asia’s wealthiest person Mukesh Ambani is a budding internet tycoon. He is well-known for his telecom startup Reliance Jio which has amassed hundreds of millions of customers in record time. Jio has launched multiple digital businesses lately, and the latest on that list is JioMeet. The app was launched only on 2nd July and it has more than 100,000 downloads in less than 24 hours.
JioMeet offers a compelling value proposition. It does not limit the call duration to 40 minutes as Zoom does. Calls can go for as long as 24 hours. Besides, another big feature is encryption and password protection on all meetings conducted via JioMeet. Zoom offers end-to-end encryption only for its paid users.
Reliance Jio has close to 400 million users and has recently raised, in barely 2 months, over $15 billion from prominent investors. Some big names include Facebook, Silverlake, and Intel. The fundraising is a record of sorts, considered to be the largest continuous fundraising by a startup anywhere in the world.
The launch of JioMeet comes at a time when Zoom faces questions regarding the security of its app. Zoom has also faced criticism for appearing to side with China by deactivating the accounts of pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong and the US.