Zoom CEO Eric Yuan built a video conferencing juggernaut used for more than 5 billion meeting-minutes a month—and carrying a market capitalization of about $19 billion—by focusing on doing one thing better than the competition: software. Now, through an investment in a new startup called Neat, Zoom’s dipping its toes in the side of the business it has long kept at a distance—hardware.
Zoom announced on Tuesday at its user conference that it had invested in Neat, an Oslo-based startup founded in early 2019 that makes hardware solutions to complement Zoom’s cloud-based meetings. Neat has about 50 employees, the startup says, and has raised $20 million overall. Zoom declined to disclose how much it had invested, but both companies say it did not take a controlling stake.