Zoom Announces Startups Receiving Funding from $100M Fund

Due to its monumental growth, Zoom is now operating as an investor into smaller developers, starting with a $100M fund.
Duncan Lambden

Web-conferencing app Zoom has recently announced that it's making multiple sizeable investments into various apps and developers. All of these investments have gone to developers that make apps for Zoom's own platform, as Zoom looks to expand its service.

It's no secret that Zoom has exploded in relevance since the COVID-19 pandemic began. “Zoom” has essentially replaced the word “Skype” when it comes to referring to a video conferencing platform. And even as the pandemic hopefully winds down, Zoom is making efforts to maintain their momentum.

The exact intricacies of the investments (who's getting however much money) is still under wraps. However, if any of these investments bear fruit, which is highly likely, you can be sure that they'll lead to very handy additions to Zoom's platform.

What Did Zoom Invest in?

While the specifics of the investments aren't fully public just yet, Zoom has given out some general information regarding their investments.

Zoom came to play with a massive $100 million, looking to divide this up between various developers that seemingly had potential to improve Zoom's platform. They made more than a dozen investments, with investments ranging from $250,000 to $2.5 million.

Ross Mayfield, product lead for Zoom Apps and integrations, had this to say:

“We’re in the process of creating this ecosystem. We felt it important, particularly to focus on the seed stage and A stage of partnering with entrepreneurs to create great things on this platform. And I think what you see in the first batch of more than a dozen investments is representative of something that’s going to be a significant ongoing undertaking.”

While Zoom has a lot of money to throw around, no business would haphazardly make 7-figure investments without some belief in the product. To see Zoom have this much faith in this many developers is a sign that they believe that there is still room for growth within the web-conferencing realm.

What Does Zoom Look to Gain from Investing?

Zoom doesn't seem to be expecting any money from these developers directly, but rather are placing their bets on the success of these tools and products to make their own platform more appealing.

One example is Fathom, which records the meeting and allows you to mark moments in the meetings with tabs. For example, if three presentations were happening throughout a single meeting, you could partition the meeting into three chunks using tabs, so that people could easily find where each presentation began.

With Zoom investing in multiple apps like this, it's easy to see how their platform is poised to become far more fleshed out and useful for businesses as the time goes on.

The Future of Web Conferencing

As working from home becomes more and more normal, businesses will need to rely on web conferencing apps to conduct meetings and appointments. Zoom is looking to stay on top of the web conferencing heap, but that doesn't mean there aren't a bunch of platforms looking to take the crown.

In order to keep up with Zoom's massive investments, we might be seeing developments from other major web conferencing competitors in order to keep up. In the mean time, have a look at our favourite web conferencing platforms, and see if Zoom really is the best choice for you.

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Zoho Meeting

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Zoom

RingCentral

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Google Meet

Microsoft Teams

Lifesize

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$5/month

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$12-$16/month

Zoho users

Overall conference calling

Beginners

Longer meetings

Larger businesses

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Yes (paid plan) – VoIP, Phone & Toll-Free

Yes – VoIP, Phone & Toll-Free

Yes – Add-on audio plan allows you to add Call Out, global Toll-free & local dial-in for premium countries

Yes – Companies get a single audio conferencing bridge dial-in phone number for easy universal access.

Yes – Audio-only calls can be created when a host generates an Audio pin

Yes – Just call the number listed on the meeting invite, or join via the link and turn off your camera

Yes – but only in selected countries, and each user dialing into meetings will need an audio-conferencing license.

Yes – in a meeting contact card, users can tap the phone number under Details to call using their default phone or voice app

Yes – Easy access to audio conferencing is provided via a traditional PSTN number

  • Free – no time limit
  • Browser functionality
  • SSL/128-bit AES encryption
  • High quality video
  • Reliable and secure
  • Lower cost than competitors
  • Easy to use
  • Feature-rich free version available
  • Intuitive interface
  • Lots of customizability
  • Affordable
  • Feature-rich software
  • High quality video
  • Easy setup
  • Google Calendar compatibility
  • Saves chat logs
  • Easy integration with Google apps
  • Completely free
  • 300 participants
  • Integrates with Microsoft 365
  • 1080p video and HD audio,
  • Integrates with third-party apps
  • Good value
  • Amazing sound quality
  • Lots of features
  • Many software integrations
  • Recording costs extra
  • Weak free plan
  • Poor audio quality
  • No analytics
  • Free – no single sign-on
  • Occasional bandwidth issues
  • Spotty connectivity
  • No gallery view for guests
  • Steep learning curve
  • Unsophisticated chat function
  • Connectivity issues without update
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Duncan (BA in English Textual Studies and Game Design) is an Australian-born senior writer for Tech.Co. His articles focus on website builders, and business software that allows small businesses to improve their efficiency or reach, with an emphasis on digital marketing or accounting. He has written for Website Builder Expert and MarTech Series, and has been featured in Forbes. In his free time, Duncan loves to deconstruct video games, which means that his loved ones are keenly concerned about the amount of time he spends looking at screens.