The pandemic has been a boon for video-conferencing platforms as the focus has shifted to online learning and working from home. This has led to a surging rise in demand for Zoom, which has reached new heights since March 2020. In recent times, it has been vying for the evolution to a full-fledged platform, and had announced a $100 million venture fund to stimulate the growth of its ecosystem of Zoom Apps, integrations, developer platforms, and hardware. A few months after the Zoom Apps Fund was unveiled, Zoom announced that the first round of investments had been made.

Under the Zoom Apps Fund, companies could receive any amount between $2,50,000 to $2.5 million in order to build solutions that would become central to how Zoom customers meet, communicate, and collaborate. Instead of leading the rounds, the company is joining forces with other investment partners as well as working with the start-ups for executive backing and advice.

One of the first start-ups to receive investments from the Fund is Hive, which recently raised $10 million in order to build the first-ever democratic software platform.

According to Ross Mayfield, product lead for Zoom Apps and integrations, they were “in the process of creating this ecosystem. We felt it important, particularly to focus on the seed stage and A stage of partnering with entrepreneurs to create great things on this platform. And I think what you see in the first batch of more than a dozen investments is representative of something that’s going to be a significant ongoing undertaking.”

Mayfield added that the investments had an executive or a senior sponsor within the company, and Zoom intends to continue looking for start-ups that use its platform to build their start-up or integrate with Zoom.

Apart from Hive, others who have received funding from Zoom include Warmly, which is beneficial for users who spend a majority of their day online and allows the meeting organizer to create customized Zoom backgrounds and provides information about the participants, and Fathom, which “effortlessly recalls and shares important moments from your customer calls for FREE,” and provides transcripts of video recordings to the users.

Zoom is also providing communication tools for the start-ups that have received funding to interact with its Zoom Apps team. “We have a shared chat channel between the start-up and my team. We have a channel called Announcements and a channel called Help, and another one that the start-ups created called Community,” Mayfield said.