RIM announces $150m venture capital fund for next-gen mobile apps

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RIM announces $150m venture capital fund for next-gen mobile apps

Research In Motion (RIM) will invest US$150 million in mobile applications and services for BlackBerry and other mobile platforms.

Announced this week, the BlackBerry Partners Fund will be held as a platform-agnostic venture capital fund that aims to foster development and encourage entrepreneurs to create next-generation mobile offerings.

The fund will be co-managed by JLA Ventures and RBC Venture Partners, and will not restrict the development of mobile applications and services to any single mobile platform or industry segment.

“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 of 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 ecosystem.”

The fund will consider applications and services in all stages of development, and from all regions of the world.

Offerings such as mobile commerce systems, vertical and horizontal enterprise applications, communications, social networking, navigation and mapping, media and entertainment, and lifestyle and personal productivity applications will be considered.

“The BlackBerry Partners Fund will focus on … 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,” he said.

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