Research In Motion and the BlackBerry Partners Fund announced yesterday that RIM is making a lead commitment to BlackBerry Partners Fund II, a new US$150 million independent venture capital fund focused exclusively on mobile computing. BlackBerry Partners Fund II is expected to launch in June 2011 and will have a broader international mandate than the first Fund.
"We are very pleased with the positive impact of the first Fund on our mobile ecosystem and we look forward to BlackBerry Partners Fund II bringing additional resources and support to mobile innovators in a broader range of international markets," said Jim Balsillie, Co-CEO at Research In Motion.
"We are very fortunate to have RIM as an anchor investor and partner in our Fund and greatly anticipate expanding our reach and the geographical scope of Fund II," said John Albright, Co-Managing Partner of BlackBerry Partners Fund.
The first BlackBerry Partners Fund was established in 2008 in collaboration with Research In Motion, Thomson Reuters, Royal Bank of Canada and a roster of high profile investors.
The Fund has made 13 investments to-date in mobile start-ups including Toronto's SocialDeck which was subsequently acquired by Google in August 2010.