BlackBerry Partners Fund Announced?

by Rob Lewis | Business

VentureBeat reported yesterday that Research In Motion, the RBC and Thomson Reuters invested in an $150 million venture investment fund, called the BlackBerry Partners Fund, to support developers of applications running primarily on the Blackberry. Shortly after reporting on the announcement, VentureBeat pulled their blog post but the details lingered in RSS readers prompting many (including Techcrunch) to jump on the news and potential slip-up.

The fund will be used to invest in both applications and services for the BlackBerry platform, but it won’t be exclusively to support the Blackberry. Companies that support other mobile platforms in addition to the Blackberry can also apply for monies for the fund. According to our source, the fund isn’t designed to be competitive with the iFund, because it will be free to invest in applications serving that platform too. The venture firm backing the fund is Canada’s JLA Ventures, a Montreal and Toronto firm active in mobile. That firm will co-manage the investing process, together with the investment group of Canada’s largest bank, RBC Venture Partners. RIM, RBC and Thomson are anchor investors in the fund, and will advise in the fund’s management. Jim Balsillie, Co-CEO, Research In Motion, is on the advisory board of JLA Ventures.

In the missing post VentureBeat claimed that they learned of the news in advance of the fund’s official launch and that an announcement will be made at an Orlando convention on Monday.

Relay Ventures
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Relay Ventures is an early stage venture capital firm that invests in passionate entrepreneurs disrupting and creating new markets through mobile technologies. Unlike other funds, Relay exclusively focuses on software for mobile devices and the connected Internet, creating an unparalleled set of networks and resources that tangibly help founders build world-class companies. With offices in... more

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Rob Lewis

Rob Lewis

Rob is the President of Techvibes Media and Editor-in-Chief of  His diverse background includes stints in International Trade Finance, Web Development, and Enterprise Software and he is a graduate of the University of British Columbia, British Columbia Institute of Technology, and Simon Fraser University. When not running Canada's leading technology media property, Rob can be... more

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