Zoho announces new R&D investments, crosses $1B in revenue

By Sujata Sangwan
November 08, 2022, Updated on : Tue Nov 08 2022 14:45:37 GMT+0000
Zoho announces new R&D investments, crosses $1B in revenue
Zoho, which spends three times its marketing spend on R&D, has received 25 patents in the last three years and attributes this growth to strong R&D capabilities and a diversified portfolio.
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Chennai-headquartered global technology company Zoho Corporation on Tuesday announced its plans to open 100 network PoPs (point of presence) around the world in the next five years for providing users with a faster network. It also wants to double its investments in technologies such as blockchain and AI (artificial intelligence).


The company has surpassed $1 billion in revenue, with India leading the growth and the regional annual revenue increasing by 77% in 2021.

Zoho, which spends three times its marketing spend on R&D and has received 25 patents in the last three years, attributes its growth to strong R&D capabilities across categories and markets, its diversified portfolio, and to businesses choosing unified offerings over single products.

The company is seeing uptake of products across different categories, with the top five offerings in India being Zoho One (the operating system for business), CRM Plus (customer experience platform), EX offering—led by Zoho People (human resource management platform), Zoho Workplace (enterprise collaboration platform), and the finance suite led by Zoho Books (GST-compliant accounting software).

"At Zoho, we have always believed that technologists should practice more humility," said Sridhar Vembu, CEO and Co-founder, Zoho Corp at the company's annual user conference in Delhi. "After all, we cannot code more food nor compile new energy. Unfortunately, recent developments in our industry amidst a backdrop of rapidly deteriorating global economic outlook, are a rude reminder of our own limits as technologists."


"Fundamentals matter now more than ever, and our industry has to learn to lower the friction of technology, so that technology becomes far more affordable," added Sridhar.

"We have also crossed an important milestone of $1 billion in annual revenue. While growth has slowed down quite a bit in 2022 over 2021, our diversified product portfolio and the fact that we save money for customers have helped us so far. We hope to continue to serve our customers by bringing the highest quality offerings at very affordable prices," he said.

Building technologies from the ground-up

Zoho has built its technology stack from scratch—from apps and platforms to the network and data centres—horizontally, vertically, and contextually unified. In order to offer unparalleled value and user experience across the tech stack, Zoho invests in developing core R&D capabilities, apart from product development. These capabilities can be categorised into: data, database, and data centres.


Data: For better processing of data, Zoho is focusing its AI development around statistical machine learning, computer vision, and natural language processing (NLP). The technology developed by the central R&D team is utilised by products for different use cases. For example, receipt digitisation in Zoho Expense (expense management tool) utilises optical character recognition (OCR) technology while Zoho Analytics utilises mathematical techniques for analysing data, and Zia (Zoho Intelligent Assistant) utilises NLP for conversational AI. Zoho's AI technology translates into optimised processes, increased ease of use, and maximised revenue for users.


Database: In order to improve data processing, Zoho utilises proprietary technology that runs on Graphic Processing Units (GPUs). This allows Zoho to process data on its database servers up to 50 times faster. This results in a reduced latency period for users.


Datacentre: Zoho runs its own data centres—currently, 12 around the world, including two in India. It has around 14 network PoPs that run its proprietary software. The software is focused on accelerating network access, which, in turn, results in faster connectivity for users who get real-time updates. This is particularly critical in communication and collaboration applications that are a necessity in a hybrid work culture. Zoho also has over 150 monitoring PoPs that enable users to monitor the functioning of their websites.

"We are also working on adding Indian language support for our AI and blockchain technology for universal validation. Our focus will be on technologies that businesses–regardless of their size and location–will be able to use securely," added Sridhar.

Edited by Kanishk Singh

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