Zoom has become a platform, and now Zoom wants to invest in it: It created a $100 million Zoom Apps Fund, with plans to invest anywhere from $250,000 to $2.5 million in companies across the video spectrum.
Zoom CTO Brendan Ittelson didn't offer much in the way of details, except to say that it's still very early — Zoom Apps as a concept has only been around since October — and that he doesn't want to limit the Zoom Fund's purview. "At the end of the day, we're looking at folks that are working with our ecosystem, be that Zoom Apps, integrations, hardware." He's focused on early-stage investments in companies that are starting to get traction.
Zoom has invested in lots of other companies over the years, and the Zoom Fund seems to be a more formal version of the same process. In general, the company's hope is clearly to help spark more development in the space, to make Zoom Apps into a platform as big and powerful as Zoom imagines it could be. It's a pretty common move: Amazon committed $200 million to its own Alexa Fund, for instance, and Google has invested in lots of Google Assistant-related startups. $100 million goes a long way toward starting a developer ecosystem.