On Monday, Zoom Video Communications announced that it has created a $100 million fund and plans on investing in startup companies that build apps using its technology.
Kelly Steckelberg; the Chief Financial Officer for the company told Reuters that investments will be made between the sums of $250,000 and $2.5 million into companies building ‘Zoom apps’ that plug into the company’s video conferencing software to add new features to it.
Established firms like Salesforce Inc. have Zoom apps that can, for instance, display information from corporate systems for discussions during sales meetings. The Chief Financial Officer said that what Zoom aims to achieve with the fund is to encourage developers create new functions like digital white boards for sketching ideas, that will be useful in specific situations for companies such as that of Salesforce Inc’s. The CFO revealed that the fund is also open to companies that provide telemedicine apps or conference rooms hardware makers that desire to tap into Zoom’s video systems that are cloud-based.
The CFO also mentioned that instead of being run as a standalone venture capital entity, the fund will be taken from Zoom’s balance sheet. She also said that the company has no desire to take board seats in the companies that it chooses to invest in. In an interview with Reuters she said, “The will really help invest in developers at early stages and get early market traction…It’s definitely on the lines of being a strategic investor”
Zoom started out almost nine years ago and became a household name after the covid-19 pandemic which raised the demand for the service. The astronomical rise in the use of the platform’s services came as a result of the need of the platform for remote work, distance education and online social relations. Zoom is currently valued at $92.26 billion.