Monday 19 April 2021 2:18 pm

Zoom looks to future-proof with $100m productivity app fund

Zoom today unveiled plans to launch a $100m (£72m) venture fund to invest in productivity apps, marking the video calling platform’s efforts to maintain momentum following the pandemic.

The company said its Zoom Apps Fund will help to generate growth for its portfolio of apps as it looks to integrate other technology into its own platforms.

Read more: Covid-19, a year on: What we’ve learnt on Zoom

Announced last year, Zoom Apps are integrated services accessible through the video conferencing giant that are designed to improve productivity and reduce the need for switching between different windows.

Dropbox, Slack, Coursera and Kahoot! are among the first apps to sign up for the collaboration.

Partnering companies will receive initial investments of between $250,000 and $2.5m to help develop their technology.

The fund is aimed at firms with products in the early stages of market development that complement Zoom’s focus on virtual meetings.

Zoom also said it hoped to support the next generation of entrepreneurs that have traditionally seen underinvestment.

Eric Yuan, who founded Zoom in 2011, said that “without the support of early investors, Zoom would not be what it is today”.

“What I’ve learned over the past year is that we need to keep meetings productive and fun,” he 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.” 

Read more: Citigroup enforces Zoom-free Fridays in wellbeing push

The new fund marks efforts by Zoom, which was one of the major winners of the pandemic, to develop its business as global lockdown restrictions begin to ease.

Analysts have said the company is likely to focus on its enterprise offering and pursue new product or software innovations, including through partnerships.

Read more: Zoom: What’s next for the Covid-19 pandemic’s biggest winner?