- Zoom seeks to make initial investments of $250,000 to $2.5 million in each portfolio company;
- To be eligible, companies must have a viable product and be in early market traction;
- Zoom seeks companies that commit to develop on and invest in the Zoom ecosystem (including Zoom Apps, integrations, APIs, SDKs, and hardware;
- Startups (including Brazilians and Latin Americans) can apply here.
Zoom on Monday said it has created a $100 million global fund to invest in startup software companies that build apps using its technology.
The video conferencing company has become a household name during the pandemic as businesses and schools shifted to its platform, along with rival platforms such as Microsoft’s Teams and Cisco’s Webex.
Zoom Chief Financial Officer Kelly Steckelberg told Reuters that the fund will make investments of between $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.
While established firms such as Salesforce have Zoom apps that can, for example, display information from corporate systems for discussions during sales meetings, Steckelberg said Zoom wants to encourage developers to create new functions like digital white boards for sketching ideas. She said 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 said 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. Although stage agnostic, the company added that it will primarily focus on startups at seed to Series A stages.
“This will really help invest in developers at early stages and get early market traction,” she told Reuters in an interview. “It’s definitely on the lines of being a strategic investor.”