VentureBeat reported yesterday that Research In Motion, the RBC and Thomson Reuters invested in an $150 million venture investment fund, called the BlackBerry Partners Fund, to support developers of applications running primarily on the Blackberry. Shortly after reporting on the announcement, VentureBeat pulled their blog post but the details lingered in RSS readers prompting many (including Techcrunch) to jump on the news and potential slip-up.
The fund will be used to invest in both applications and services for the BlackBerry platform, but it won’t be exclusively to support the Blackberry. Companies that support other mobile platforms in addition to the Blackberry can also apply for monies for the fund. According to our source, the fund isn’t designed to be competitive with the iFund, because it will be free to invest in applications serving that platform too. The venture firm backing the fund is Canada’s JLA Ventures, a Montreal and Toronto firm active in mobile. That firm will co-manage the investing process, together with the investment group of Canada’s largest bank, RBC Venture Partners. RIM, RBC and Thomson are anchor investors in the fund, and will advise in the fund’s management. Jim Balsillie, Co-CEO, Research In Motion, is on the advisory board of JLA Ventures.
In the missing post VentureBeat claimed that they learned of the news in advance of the fund’s official launch and that an announcement will be made at an Orlando convention on Monday.