Popular video-conferencing platform Zoom Video Communications Inc. announced on Monday the creation of a new $100 million venture fund created to stimulate growth of the company’s ecosystem of Apps, integrations, developer platform, and hardware.
The Zoom Apps fund will comprise of portfolio companies who will receive initial investments between $250,000 and $2.5 million to build solutions that will become core to how Zoom customers meet, communicate, and collaborate, the company said in a statement.
“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, Founder and CEO 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.”
Zoom Apps, announced at Zoomtopia 2020, are leading applications that will bring productivity and engaging experiences directly into the Zoom platform.
Dozens of Zoom Apps are currently in development and are an important component in building the future of video communications. The Zoom Apps Fund will invest in developer partners with viable products and early market traction that will provide valuable and engaging experiences to our customers.
The popular video conferencing platform emerged as a household name during the pandemic as companies and educational institutions relied on it rather than Skype, who fell short of capitalizing on the worldwide lockdown measures.
Many industry analysts consider Zoom’s investment fund as a form of growth, as the company stands toe-to-toe with rival platforms such Microsoft’s Teams and Cisco’s Webex.
In a conversation with Reuters, the company’s Chief Financial Officer Kelly Steckelberg said that Zoom wants to encourage developers to create new functions like digital white boards for sketching ideas.
She added that the fund will also be open to companies such as telemedicine app providers or conference room hardware makers that want to tap Zoom’s cloud-based video systems.
Steckelberg highlighted that the fund will be run from Zoom’s balance sheet, rather than as a standalone venture capital entity, and will not seek to take board seats in the companies it invests in.