Earlier in the month, Microsoft made another big step into the world of mobile communications by investing in Zula, the Israel-based mobile collaboration app startup, co-founded by two pioneers of the Business VoIP world, Jeff Pulver and Jacob Ner-David.
Built to revolutionise team communications in a mobile focussed world, the app gives groups of users a messaging platform to create secure, text-based conversations, start VoIP and conference calls instantly, share files with Dropbox integration and other storage options, as well as strong integration with Facebook and LinkedIn. Pulver has described Zula as a “WhatsApp for business.”
Zula presented at TechCrunch Disrupt this year where they won the Audience Choice Award. Microsoft quickly saw the benefits of a mobile-first, cross-organisation communication app that can help bring together an increasingly dispersed workforce, hoping to take advantage of a new generation of tech savvy business users who have grown up using messaging platforms.
Though the investment amount is not thought to be particularly huge, the significance to the deal is that Microsoft has taken an interest in the product, put its money where its mouth is, and invested in a potentially game changing enterprise collaboration platform.
Together, Zula and Microsoft plan to use the funding to develop new features, which include an HTML5 web client and a possible focus on bringing the service to the Windows platform.
The current version of Zula is available free for now, with paid features to be introduced in the future to the iOS and Android app.