Zoom: A Salesforce Platform with New Start-ups Launching Around It

The idea of adding, sharing and using apps during a meeting for value addition has provided an opportunity for developers to think about the context of a meeting, and how users are going to need to use their apps to make the meetings more effective.


More than a decade ago, Salesforce paved the way for Zoom when it opened up its platform to developers and later launched the AppExchange as a distribution channel. Both were revolutionary ideas at the time. Today we are seeing Zoom building on the same. Its usage exploded during the pandemic with ‘work from home’ becoming the new normal. With over 350 million daily meeting participants, this platform has become a key tool for businesses. The idea of using a video conferencing platform to build a set of adjacent tools made a lot of sense for the company as promising start-ups sprouted up to build their businesses around Zoom. This serves the dual purpose: to provide developers/start-ups the opportunity to grow their reach and users, and to add value to customers by producing high-quality apps and building a holistic platform.

The latest hotspot  

The idea was built after the video platform decided to go beyond its core video meeting product. To achieve this goal, the company started teaming up with start-ups building the next big app on its open platform using Zoom APIs, which allows developers to access a collection of resources from Zoom. 

Targeting SaaS vendors and developers, the company launched Zapp (Zoom App marketplace) to integrate third-party applications directly into the Zoom meeting experience.

Today, the platform has become the latest hotspot around which new businesses are popping up. Besides already established developers like Dropbox, Slack and Atlassian, we are seeing promising start-ups like Mmhmm, Docket and ClassEdu which are built with Zoom in mind. These companies are garnering investor attention. In fact, some investors believe Zoom could be the next great start-up ecosystem.

Launchpad 

Zapp has become a crucial launch pad for start-up innovation. The idea of adding, sharing and using apps during a meeting for value addition has provided an opportunity for developers to think about the context of a meeting, and how users are going to need to use these apps to make their meetings more effective. It’s about bringing context to conversations and removing the most common friction points for users. For instance, start-ups like Restream, Verbit, Hopin, Grain, Fireflies provide solutions that easily plug into Zoom, ranging from livestreaming, transcribing, networking, recording, social media networking etc.

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Targeting SaaS vendors and developers, the company launched Zapp (Zoom App marketplace) to integrate third-party applications directly into the Zoom meeting experience.

With new offerings, Zoom is making it easier for people to do what they are already doing using the platform. Hence, creating a holistic business platform while providing an opportunity for developers to grow. A win for both ends. Besides, it already has a captive audience in place, which is a hugely valuable asset.

It is now reportedly building its own enterprise email service and calendar app to take on two giants in the space -Google and Microsoft. The new products are slated to launch in 2021. With Zoom becoming the go to choose for more businesses, access to immersive app solutions will be essential. There are tons of Zoom app start-ups already emerging and people are showing an obvious desire to build on the platform.

Naina Sood
Naina Sood
Naina was former staff at Dutch Uncles, she writes on business-life-cycle, funding, small businesses and start-ups.

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