Zoom became a household name when the pandemic raged throughout the world unchecked providing a platform for almost instantaneous communication between employers and employees, students and teachers, friends and family, and so on. With the focus shifting to online learning and working from home, the platform witnessed an unprecedented rise in downloads. However, the company wants to be more than an app. It wants to be platform, an industry giant, and has started multiple new projects to that end.
Now, continuing the good work, the company has announced a $100 million investment fund to invest in companies that use its toolset to launch industry disrupting products. The platform thinks that this will help grow its ecosystem, and allow the most promising start-ups to use its toolset and launch their businesses, and entice developers to build applications on top of Zoom.
Colin Born, head of corporate development at Zoom, wrote in a blog post, “We’re looking for companies with a viable product and early market traction, and a commitment to developing on and investing in the Zoom ecosystem.”
According to the company, the fund would aid in the growth of its ecosystem of Zoom Apps, integrations, developer platform, and hardware. The portfolio companies that will receive initial investments from Zoom Apps Fund will get between $250,000 and $2.5 million. This will aid companies to build solutions that will be the core of how Zoom customers meet, communicate, and collaborate.
The platform’s CTO Brendan Ittelson said, “A big part of this is helping facilitate those early companies and giving them the access to resources and connections within Zoom so that they can grow and succeed. While the company wants to invest successfully, a big part of this is using the fund to encourage developers to take advantage of the platform offerings from Zoom. We feel we’ll help [these startups] build these valuable and engaging experiences and by having that and by investing, we’re helping bring solutions and further expand the ecosystem and our customers should benefit from that.”
Zoom Apps, announced at Zoomtopia 2020, refers to an ecosystem of leading applications that improve meeting productivity and more engaging experiences, enabling developers to create applications that power workflows before, during, and after meetings.
“I founded Zoom in 2011, nearly ten years ago. Without the support of early investors, Zoom would not be what it is today,” said Eric S. Yuan, CEO, and founder of Zoom. “What I’ve learned over the past year is that we need to keep meetings productive and fun. My hope is that the Zoom Apps Fund will help our customers meet happier and collaborate even more seamlessly, and at the same time help entrepreneurs build new businesses as our platform evolves.”
This move will help new up and coming startups to grow and get capital from one of the most companies on the planet.
Zoom CFO Kelly Steckelberg said that the fund would also be open to companies such as telemedicine app providers or conference room hardware makers that wanted to use Zoom’s cloud-based video systems.
“This will really help invest in developers at early stages and get early market traction,” she said. “It’s definitely on the lines of being a strategic investor.”