RIM, RBC and Thomson Reuters to Anchor a $150 Million BlackBerry Partners Fund Focused on Investing in Mobile Applications and Services

I have been dabbling in the Balckberry applications area for quite some time now, and for those of us interested in this stuff, thie following looks like a big announcement.

I will be following this with some interest, particularly with regard to how it keeps the pressure on Apple with their iPhone.

Toronto, ON (May 12, 2008) – Research In Motion (RIM) (TSX: RIM; NASDAQ: RIMM), RBC (RY: TSX; RY: NYSE) and Thomson Reuters (NYSE: TRI; TSX: TRI; LSE: TRIL; NASDAQ: TRIN), 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.

Agnostic to both stage and balance sheet, the BlackBerry Partners Fund will not restrict the development of mobile applications and services to any single mobile platform or any specific industry segment. 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 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, 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.”

“Thomson Reuters is committed to supporting the development of next generation mobile applications that will provide our professional and business customers with anywhere, anytime capabilities,” said Devin Wenig, Chief Executive Officer, Markets Division of Thomson Reuters. “The ability to make business critical decisions with intelligent information available on mobile devices will give our customers a clear competitive advantage.”

“The BlackBerry Partners Fund will focus on evaluating companies in all regions of the world and 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.”

“The BlackBerry Partners Fund will be a catalyst for the development of next generation mobile applications and services,” said Kevin Talbot, RBC Vice President and Managing Director of RBC Venture Partners, who will also assume the role of Co-Managing Partner of the BlackBerry Partners Fund. “The BlackBerry Partners Fund will focus exclusively on mobile applications and services and our close alliance with RIM will bring unparalleled access and value to our portfolio companies.”

FullPress Release

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