Zoom unveils first group of app investments as part of $100 million global venture fund

Zoom announced funding for more than a dozen apps that help with productivity, diversity and other issues.

Zoom announced its first investments into the company's app ecosystem on Monday, unveiling a batch of more than a dozen companies building solutions across a wide range of use cases. 

Colin Born, head of corporate development at Zoom, said building out a venture investing effort has allowed Zoom to bring an entirely new dimension of support to their developer ecosystem.

"Providing support around fundraising allows our app partners to focus more on innovation, which will increase the quality and variety of apps available to Zoom's customers around the world," Born said. "It is critical we drive the growth of solutions that meet the needs of our customers." 

Zoom explained that it took just about four months for the Zoom Apps Fund to finish its first round of investments into its developer ecosystem. 

"These efforts are part of a $100 million global venture fund conceived to support Zoom Apps and partners building apps and integrations on the Zoom Developer Platform. These Zoom Apps Fund portfolio companies are building solutions that will fundamentally improve how our customers connect virtually," Zoom said in a statement. 

"Our initial portfolio companies have created apps for a wide range of use cases, including Collaboration & Productivity, Community & Charity, DE&I & PeopleOps, and Gaming & Entertainment."

The apps range from things like Docket, a meeting productivity platform, to Bright, a tool that connects icons with their fans through intimate, personalized video chat sessions. 

Quicksave Interactive helps users develop HTML5 games and game development tools for the new social market. At the same time, platforms like Pledge allow people, companies and nonprofits to fundraise through Zoom, livestream, text, e-commerce and the web.

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In addition to Docket, the collaboration and productivity apps include BrightHire, a tool that helps companies interview potential candidates, a recording and transcription app called Fathom, project management collaboration platform Hive, instant engagement tool Polly and Spinach, a platform that assists with remote meetings and workflows. 

Zoom also unveiled Warmly, a tool that serves as a "free business card for Zoom", allowing users to create auto-generated virtual backgrounds and see information about meeting participants. Collaboration tool WorkPatterns is also in the first cohort of Zoom apps that received funding.  

Canvas -- a diversity recruitment platform -- was named in the first batch of apps getting Zoom funding. The tool uses diversity data, analytics and sourcing tools to hire diverse teams and easily set, track, and hit their DE&I benchmarks. Video conversation platform Bright is also included in the first round of funding.  

The apps can be found on the Zoom App Marketplace, and Zoom is now on the lookout for other platforms and developers interested in building apps that can be melded with the communication tool. 

Zoom said more than 50 apps were included in the program's official launch on July 21, and more are slated for development. 

"The Zoom Developer Platform equips developers with the tools and resources needed to build applications and integrations on top of our video-first unified communications platform. Developers can request access to a collection of developer solutions, including our Meeting SDK and Video SDK, APIs, and more," the company explained.