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Zoom launches $100m fund to invest in start-ups

San Francisco — Zoom Video Communications on Monday said it has created a $100m fund to invest in start-up 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 Systems's Webex.

Zoom CFO Kelly Steckelberg said the fund will make investments of between $250,000 and $2.5m 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.com 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 such as 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 stand-alone venture capital entity, and will not seek to take board seats in the companies it invests in.

“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.”

Reuters 

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