RIM and Thomson Reuters today announced plans to launch the BlackBerry Partners Fund, a US$150 million venture capital fund, to invest in mobile applications and services for the BlackBerry platform and other mobile platforms. The Fund is to be co-managed by JLA Ventures and RBC Venture Partners.
Apple recently announced the iFund with $100m in capital to fund iPhone and iTouch applications. RIM's venture capital fund is clearly aiming to counter Apple's initiative.
The BlackBerry Partners Fund is apparently not restricted to investments of BlackBerry platform application and services. That would mean the fund could also invest in an iPhone application.
About the BlackBerry Partners Fund
The BlackBerry Partners Fund is a US$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.
More details on the BlackBerry Partners Fund site.
About the iFund
KPCB’s (Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers) iFund is a $100M investment initiative that will fund market-changing ideas and products that extend the revolutionary new iPhone and iPod touch platform. The iFund is agnostic to size and stage of investment and will invest in companies building applications, services and components. Focus areas include location based services, social networking, mCommerce (including advertising and payments), communication, and entertainment. The iFund will back innovators pursuing transformative, high-impact ideas with an eye towards building independent durable companies atop the iPhone / iPod touch platform.
Seattle-based Pelago Inc. is the first company to receive financial backing through the iFund. Their social discovery service, Whrrl, will be available on the iPhone as a native application in June 2008.
More details on the KPCB iFund site.
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