Microsoft Ventures invests in mobile productivity startup Zula

zulaMicrosoft historically hasn’t spent much time investing in seed-stage startups. That’s part of the reason why today’s investment by Microsoft Ventures — the newly-formed unit that consolidated startup-oriented programs such as BizSpark and Bing Fund under one roof — is interesting.

Microsoft Ventures announced today that it has invested an undisclosed amount in Zula, an early-stage startup led by entrepreneurs Jeff Pulver and Jacob Ner-David. It marks the third investment by Microsoft Ventures in a seed-stage company in recent months, and we’re told others will on the way.

Zula is looking to make it easier for teams to work together, streamlining messaging and communications. It does this by allowing users to create a discussion topic, and then choosing people to participate across platforms such as Facebook, Linkedin, Gmail or email contacts.

“We all need to communicate as teams, but email just doesn’t cut it for us,” said co-founder Pulver in introducing the service at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference earlier this year.

In a blog post, Microsoft’s Rahul Sood said they were impressed with Zula’s approach.

“We immediately saw the benefit of a mobile-first, cross-organization communication app helping an increasingly dispersed workforce stay connected on tasks while effectively collaborating with each other outside the inbox,” Sood wrote.

Microsoft’s other two seed-stage investments include SkyGiraffe and Ranku, with a spokesperson saying they “plan to continue investing in startups in a regular rhythm.”

Here’s the pitch from the Zula team at TechCrunch Disrupt