Zoom opens up $100m venture fund for app makers

19 Apr 2021

Image: © MoiraM/Stock.adobe.com

The Zoom Apps Fund will invest in companies and developers building apps that will improve its video-conferencing services.

Zoom has revealed a new $100m venture fund to invest in businesses building apps for the video-conferencing platform.

The Zoom Apps Fund will invest between $250,000 and $2.5m in companies in a bid to grow out the ecosystem of developers creating apps and tools for Zoom.

Over the last year, in which Zoom underwent staggering user growth, the company has been trying to cultivate stronger relationships with developers. This includes the recent roll-out of software developer kits (SDKs) and other resources.

Zoom Apps was revealed last October by the company as a means to transform its platform from simply a video-conferencing tool into a broader ecosystem for communications. This includes building new solutions for online events, end-to-end encryption, deploying new use cases for artificial intelligence and building stronger voice control functions.

There are already Zoom Apps available from companies such as Asana, Dropbox, HubSpot and Salesforce. According to the Zoom, there are dozens of apps in development with solutions to improve the company’s video communications products.

“What I’ve learned over the past year is that we need to keep meetings productive and fun,” Zoom chief executive Eric Yuan said.

“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’s last full-year earnings were $2.65bn, up a whopping 326pc compared to the previous year. The surge in use of the company’s software has been attributed to the mass shift to working from home during the pandemic, with Zoom calls becoming the must-have tool for many workplaces, schools and colleges.

With the expanded remit of Zoom Apps and this venture fund, Zoom is likely looking to shore up the usefulness of its products post-pandemic.

Jonathan Keane is a freelance business and technology journalist based in Dublin