Enterprise Mobility & Connected Devices Blog

As RIM Loses its Home-Field Market, Relay Capital Launches BlackBerry Partners Fund II

As this past week saw RIM lose its dominant position in the company’s home market (Canada), the BlackBerry Partners Fund sees an influx of $150 million into what will become the “BlackBerry Partners Fund II.”  The initial BlackBerry Partners Fund was founded in May of 2008, backed by Thomson Reuters, RBC, and of course, RIM (BlackBerry).  Curiously, while this VC fund incorporates the “BlackBerry” brand into its name, and was launched at a time when RIM was reaching its peak in the market, managers of the fund have defined the BlackBerry Partners Fund as being device-agnostic.  This is in contrast to Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers iFund, launched around the same time, which dedicated its resources towards advancing Apple and the iOS platform.  Over the past four years the BlackBerry Partners Fund, managed by JLA Capital and RBC, has funded mobile startups including:

  • Digby
  • Buzzd
  • WorldMate
  • Xobni
  • Payfone
  • Appia
  • mDialog 

The BlackBerry Partners Fund II, funded largely by Northlead Capital Partners (as well as Thomson Reuters, Corus Entertainment, and RIM) will be based out of Menlo Park – near San Francisco.  This influx of venture capital funding will no doubt draw interest in Silicon Valley – we will be excited to see who makes the cut to earn the backing of these prominent venture capitalists…

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