Zoom is launching a $100 million venture fund that’s meant to spur growth in the company’s ecosystem of Zoom Apps and integrations, as well as its developer platform and compatible hardware. The Zoom Apps Fund will invest in developer partners with viable products and early market traction, with portfolio companies receiving between $250,000 and $2.5 million, Zoom said.
Zoom Apps, launched under the name Zapps at Zoom’s 2020 Zoomtopia conference, are different from the more than 800 apps offered in Zoom’s Marketplace. Zoom’s existing marketplace revolves around integrating Zoom with other applications, whereas Zoom Apps are meant to bring apps into the Zoom experience with a click.
For developers, Zoom Apps aim to provide a mix of app store distribution as well as viral potential in meeting use cases.
The company is intent on growing its Zoom Apps ecosystem as a means to expand the functionality of its platform, especially for enterprises, and to evolve as a broader collaboration provider for the future of work.
“I founded Zoom in 2011, nearly ten years ago. Without the support of early investors, Zoom would not be what it is today,” said Zoom CEO Eric Yuan. “What I’ve learned over the last 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.”
Zoom became a household name in 2020 after the Covid-19 pandemic forced schools and businesses to close and people to stay physically apart. Its videoconferencing platform facilitated virtual meetings, classes and birthday parties, and by the end of the company’s FY 2021, “Zoom” had become a verb, and its revenue had jumped 326%.