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BlackBerry maker RIM and Thomson Reuters establish venture fund

12 May 2008  |  8321 views  |  0 Iphone screen close up

Research in Motion (RIM)- the Canadian maker of the Blackberry handheld device - is teaming with Thomson Reuters to set up a $150 million venture capital fund that will invest in applications and services for mobile platforms.

RIM says the new BlackBerry Partners Fund will not restrict the development of applications and services to any single mobile platform or any specific industry segment.

The vendor says the fund will be designed to advance the industry by "fostering development and driving the entrepreneurial spirit to create the most innovative mobile offerings for customers".

The fund will focus on services such as mobile payments, advertising, retailing and banking, as well as social networking, vertical and horizontal enterprise applications, navigation and mapping, media and entertainment and lifestyle and personal productivity applications.

Jim Balsillie, co-CEO, RIM, says the fund is being formed to "help fuel innovation and activity in the mobile ecosystem".

Commenting on the move, Devin Wenig, CEO, markets division, Thomson Reuters, says the firm is committed to supporting the "development of next generation mobile applications that will provide our professional and business customers with anywhere, anytime capabilities".

"The ability to make business critical decisions with intelligent information available on mobile devices will give our customers a clear competitive advantage," says Wenig.

The fund will be co-managed by Canadian firm JLA Ventures and RBC Venture Partners John Albright, managing partner at JLA Ventures, says the fund will focus on evaluating companies in all regions of the world.

"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," says Albright.

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