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Zoom Invests $30M In Conference Hardware Partner Neat

‘We have a shared commitment to this space. I believe the new investment reflects Zoom’s belief in the unique value proposition of Neat in the market, and in the experience that we deliver, and in our commitment to making Zoom meetings as rich and as valuable as they can be,’ says Hellene Garcia, Neat’s vice president of commercials.

Zoom has invested an additional $30 million in Neat, the Norway-based developer of hardware aimed at making Zoom and Microsoft Teams remote conferencing easy.

Oded Gal, chief product officer for San Jose, Calif.-based video communications software leader Zoom, wrote in a Wednesday blog post that his company’s $30 million investment brings the total it invested in Neat over three rounds to $41 million.

“[The investment] further reflects our companies’ commitment to transforming the workspace through exceptional video experiences,” Gal wrote.

[Related: Norwegian Startup Neat Aims To Take Zoom, Microsoft Teams Meetings ‘To The Next Level’]

For Zoom, the investment is a tripling down on its Neat investment, Gal wrote.

“Neat’s devices are an outstanding complement to Zoom’s communications platform and help deliver an optimal Zoom Rooms experience for our users,” he wrote.

A Zoom spokesperson, in response to a CRN emailed request for more information about the investment, replied via email that Zoom and Neat have seen tremendous success delivering exceptional meeting room experiences for Zoom Rooms customers.

“This investment reflects Zoom’s belief that Neat devices deliver the rich collaboration experiences Zoom customers require, and reinforces our partnership to drive innovation and bring the future of video to life today. Zoom is focused on delivering innovation on its platform, and is actively funding partners that make its customers’ work and lives better. This investment furthers that goal while allowing Zoom to continue to collaborate with its device ecosystem partners in addition to Neat to provide Zoom customers a range of options for their meeting spaces.”

Hellene Garcia, vice president of commercials for Oslo, Norway-based Neat, told CRN that Neat was really funded at the request of Zoom to help meet the challenges in the meeting space, both current challenges and those to come in the future.

“We have a shared commitment to this space,” she said. “I believe the new investment reflects Zoom’s belief in the unique value proposition of Neat in the market, and in the experience that we deliver, and in our commitment to making Zoom meetings as rich and as valuable as they can be.”

While Zoom is a major investor in Neat, Neat recently unveiled a partnership to develop video conferencing devices for the rival Microsoft Teams platform by the end of 2021, and may expand its offering to the Google Meet or Cisco WebEx platforms as well.

Neat, in the meantime, has been actively moving forward on its Zoom-focused device offerings, Garcia said.

The company’s Neat Bar Pro, which is a collaboration device that supports up to three display screens in a conference room for large meetings, is now available for pre-order, and is set to be generally available at the end of November, she said.

The new Neat Frame, which is a desktop video conferencing device that sits alongside a user’s laptop, is set to be available for pre-orders late this month, and is slated to ship by the end of the year, she said.

The Neat One, an all-in-one personal conferencing device with USB camera, speakerphone, and microphone, is slated to be available by year-end as well, she said.

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