Online communications vendor Zoom has released a US$100 million fund to help independent software vendors (ISVs) develop collaboration products.
Known as the Zoom Apps Fund, the investment will target ISVs developing integrations, developer platform and hardware that supports the vendor’s own product.
Zoom Apps — originally given the moniker of 'Zapps' by Zoom — are applications that can be used within Zoom to help improve productivity and create a more engaging experience.
Announced at the vendor’s virtual conference Zoomtopia 2020 last October, the apps have been described by the vendor as an “important component in building the future of video communications”.
For example, Zoom Apps can be used to eliminate the need for users to switch between multiple applications on their desktop, allowing them to quickly streamline permissions, grant document accessibility and collaborate on screen.
Although Zoom has partnered with the likes of Slack and Dropbox to facilitate this, it also hopes to help users build their own, personalised software stack that incorporates those companies' tools.
This is where the new fund comes in. According to Zoom, ISVs and other companies will now receive investments between US$250,000 and US$2.5 million to build solutions that will become core to how Zoom customers meet, communicate and collaborate, the company claimed.
Zoom also stated it would seek to invest in developer partners with viable products and early market traction that will “provide valuable and engaging experiences to our customers”.
“I founded Zoom in 2011, nearly ten years ago. Without the support of early investors, Zoom would not be what it is today,” said Eric S. Yuan, founder and CEO of Zoom.
“What I’ve learned over the past year is that we need to keep meetings productive and fun. 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.”
According to recent Synergy Research findings, spending on hosted and cloud-based solutions surged 18 per cent during the US second quarter last year, with software-as-a-service (SaaS) and communications platform-as-a-service (CPaaS) offerings dominating the market.
Zoom in particular has soared in market share since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic and now sits in the top 10 rankings of collaboration vendors, alongside Twilio, Vonage and Slack.