Zoom bolsters its ecosystem with first batch of Apps Fund investments
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As part of a mission to “stimulate growth” across its burgeoning ecosystem of integrations, Zoom in April announced the $100 million Zoom Apps Fund. The fund is designed to make strategic investments in growth-stage startups that aim to capitalize on Zoom’s meteoric rise during the pandemic. Today, the video communication company announced the first roster of companies to receive cash injections from the fund.
Zoom’s valuation has more than tripled over the past 18 months, with the rapid transition to remote work leading to a huge spike in cloud infrastructure spending and software to help the distributed workforce function as close to normal as possible. In the wake of Zoom’s newfound status as a verb, the San Jose-based company took a leaf out of Salesforce’s playbook by revealing plans to nourish a robust ecosystem of companies built on top of the Zoom platform. Back in October, Zoom launched the new Zoom Apps platform, serving as a marketplace for developers to integrate their apps into Zoom, spanning everything from whiteboarding and cloud storage services to call transcriptions.
While Zoom has invested in startups in the past, the dedicated fund has formalized its position as a proactive investor. To qualify, companies must apply for funding and demonstrate that they have a market-ready product that is built for Zoom and already has some traction. If they pass muster, they could receive anything from $250,000 to $2.5 million in equity funding.
Four months after the fund’s formal unveiling, Zoom has showcased 12 of the first companies to receive investments from the fund, spanning collaboration and productivity; community and charity; diversity, equity, inclusion (DE&I) and people operations (PeopleOps); and gaming and entertainment. Zoom also invested in two companies that prefer not to be named.
Collaboration and productivity
- BrightHire: An “interview intelligence” platform that helps businesses run real-time interviews online, including support for recording, transcription, and post-call analysis.
- Docket: A meeting productivity platform that helps organizers prioritize topics, set time limits, and more.
- Fathom: An AI-powered note-taking app, with support for recording, transcribing, and highlighting key moments automatically.
- Hive: A project management and collaboration platform with support for Gantt, Kanban, table, and calendar view.
- Polly: A team engagement app that uses fun interactive questions, supports live Q&A, and solicits instant feedback.
- Spinach: Still in private beta, Spinach is setting out to “reimagine remote meetings and workflows,” with an initial focus on running better daily standups.
- Warmly: One-click AI-powered business cards that let meeting participants instantly share information about themselves and reveal mutual connections.
- WorkPatterns: For collaborating on meeting agendas, documenting decisions, exchanging feedback, setting goals, and more.
Community and charity
- Pledge: Built to support fundraising through Zoom virtual events.
DE&I and PeopleOps
- Canvas: A diversity recruitment platform (DRP), with support for diversity data and analytics to encourage a more diverse workforce.
Gaming and entertainment
Above: Quicksave Interactive: Werewolf with Friends
- Quicksave Interactive: A Finnish studio that develops HTML5 games, such as Werewolf with Friends.
- Bright: A live video chat platform for remote learning.
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