Zoom billionaire makes nearly R70bn in 3 months due to coronavirus

Zoom billionaire makes nearly R70bn in 3 months due to coronavirus

- Zoom Technologies has experienced exponential growth in the last three months

- The company is responsible for the Zoom video conferencing app

- As more people work from home due to coronavirus, the use of Zoom has skyrocketed

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Eric Yuan is a very wealthy man, his net worth doubled over the last three months and is now worth a whopping R140 billion.

His company, Zoom Technologies, Inc, was founded nine years ago and is now worth $35 billion (R640 billion).

While most companies are struggling as the global COVID-19 pandemic wreaks havoc on the world's economies, Yuan has made a fortune. Trillions have been wiped off the global stock markets.

Companies are having to change the way they do business with many people working from home and this is what has been the most significant driver for Zoom's recent exponential growth.

The company is responsible for the Zoom video conferencing app which has been downloaded millions of times in the past three months as many work from home.

After only being in the billionaires club for a little over a year, Yuan has amassed a net worth of approximately $7.5 billion (R140 million).

Yuan was not available for comment by Business Life, a representative of his said that Eric was working 18-hour days for Zoom.

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He was born in China's Shandong province, his parents were mining engineers. He has a degree in applied mathematics and a master's degree in engineering. He moved to California to start his company after being inspired by Bill Gates's speech on the dot-com bubble, according to Bloomberg.

Astonishingly, his visa to the US was declined eight times before he was finally allowed into the country in 1997.

He spoke very little English when he moved to the US.

"For the first several years, I was just writing code and I was extremely busy," Yuan said, according to CNBC.

He was inspired to develop his software while he was dating his girlfriend while he still lived in China, who later became his wife.

"I was only able to see her twice a year and it took more than 10 hours to get there by train," Yuan told Forbes in 2017. "I was young then — 18 or 19 years old — and I thought it would be fantastic if in the future there was a device where I could just click a button and see her and talk to her."

This led him to develop programmes to incorporate video into telephone-based systems for Cisco. In 2011 he pitched an idea to his bosses on a new smartphone-friendly video conference app. They rubbished his idea and he decided to leave Cisco and found Zoom.

"Cisco was more focused on social networking, trying to make an enterprise Facebook," Yuan told Forbes. "Cisco made a mistake. Three years after I left, they realised what I said was right."

Investors were not interested in his idea either and he was forced to borrow from friends and family to launch his business. He was rejected countless times, even his wife questioned his decision to leave Cisco.

"I told her, 'I know it's a long journey and very hard, but if I don't try it, I'll regret it,' " Yuan told Forbes.

He took his work very seriously and was determined to provide excellent service.

"During the early stages of Zoom, I personally emailed every customer who cancelled our service," Yuan said in an interview with Thrive Global in 2017. "One customer replied to my note and accused me of sending auto-generated emails "impersonating" the CEO — he said Zoom was a dishonest company! I wrote back that the email was indeed from me, and that it wasn't generated by one of our marketing tools. He still didn't believe me, so I wrote back again and offered to meet him on a Zoom call right that minute to prove it was me writing the emails. That call never did take place, but he stopped accusing Zoom of being dishonest!"

Zoom is now a thriving business and his employees have given him a 99% rating on the workplace review site, Glassdoor.

Yuan's motto is "Hard work and stay humble," according to The Financial Times.

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