Hot on the heels of the BlackBerry Bold comes the news that the company behind it is to start up its own venture capital firm. And if it's a way of besting Apple's iFund, then the Canadians win, by fifty million buckeroonies. The BlackBerry Partners Fund is a bunk up between RIM and Thomson Reuters, and has earmarked US$150 million for mobile applications and services for mobile platforms including BlackBerry. Full press release after the jump.
RIM, RBC and Thomson Reuters to Anchor a $150 Million BlackBerry Partners Fund Focused on Investing in Mobile Applications and Services
New fund to mark "mobile" as the new frontier
TORONTO, May 12 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - Research In Motion (RIM) (TSX:
RIM; NASDAQ: RIMM), RBC (RY: TSX; RY: NYSE) and Thomson Reuters (NYSE: TRI;
TSX: TRI; LSE: TRIL; NASDAQ: TRIN), today announced plans to launch the
BlackBerry(R) Partners Fund, a US$150 million venture capital fund, to
invest in mobile applications and services for the BlackBerry(R) platform
and other mobile platforms. The Fund is to be co-managed by JLA Ventures
and RBC Venture Partners.
Agnostic to both stage and balance sheet, the BlackBerry Partners Fund
will not restrict the development of mobile applications and services to
any single mobile platform or any specific industry segment. The Fund will
be designed to advance the industry by fostering development and driving
the entrepreneurial spirit to create the most innovative mobile offerings
"The mobile world has evolved well beyond phone calls and simple
messaging to require more empowering and liberating solutions that connect
people to everything that matters most to them, wherever and whenever they
want," said Jim Balsillie, Co-CEO, Research In Motion. "RIM, RBC and
Thomson Reuters share the common belief that mobile applications and
services will propel the industry forward and the BlackBerry Partners Fund
is being formed to help fuel innovation and activity in the mobile
"Thomson Reuters is committed to supporting the development of next
generation mobile applications that will provide our professional and
business customers with anywhere, anytime capabilities," said Devin Wenig,
Chief Executive Officer, Markets Division of Thomson Reuters. "The ability
to make business critical decisions with intelligent information available
on mobile devices will give our customers a clear competitive advantage."
"The BlackBerry Partners Fund will focus on evaluating companies in all
regions of the world and investing in the long term success of those that
demonstrate market leadership and unique differentiation," said John
Albright, Managing Partner of JLA Ventures, who will also assume the role
of Co-Managing Partner of the BlackBerry Partners Fund. "Whether it's
access to corporate data or the latest craze in mobile entertainment, we
want to fund companies that are forerunners in driving adoption and further
enriching the mobile experience."
"The BlackBerry Partners Fund will be a catalyst for the development of
next generation mobile applications and services," said Kevin Talbot, RBC
Vice President and Managing Director of RBC Venture Partners, who will also
assume the role of Co-Managing Partner of the BlackBerry Partners Fund.
"The BlackBerry Partners Fund will focus exclusively on mobile applications
and services and our close alliance with RIM will bring unparalleled access
and value to our portfolio companies."
About BlackBerry Partners Fund
The BlackBerry Partners Fund is a $150 million venture capital fund
being formed to focus on applications and services for the BlackBerry
platform and other mobile platforms including mobile commerce (payments,
advertising, retailing and banking), vertical and horizontal enterprise
applications, communications, social networking, location-based
applications and services (navigation and mapping), media and
entertainment, and lifestyle and personal productivity applications. The
Fund will consider all stages of development and is to be co-managed by JLA
Ventures and RBC Venture Partners. To sign up to receive further
information visit: http://www.blackberrypartnersfund.com.