RIM to Invest in BlackBerry Partners Fund

By Reuters  |  Print this article Print

RIM says that the PlayBook tablet computer will be available in LTE and HSPA+ versions later this year, a move which opens the tablet to all major carriers in North America.

RIM also said it will contribute to a second $150 million tranche of the BlackBerry Partners Fund, which will focus on investing in mobile-computing start-up companies.

The second tranche of the fund is expected to be launched in June. RIM did not disclose how much money it is providing, but said it was a "lead" commitment. The Ontario Venture Capital Fund has also invested, the fund managers have said.

Thomson Reuters and Royal Bank of Canada joined RIM as lead contributors to the first tranche of the fund, which has invested in 13 mobile start-ups in North America, Israel and Ireland since 2008. Neither company was immediately available to comment.

One of those start-ups, social gaming company SocialDeck, was bought by Google in August.

The co-managers of the fund said in October they saw opportunities to tap into growing mobile markets such as India, China and Brazil.

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(Reporting by Alastair Sharp; editing by Peter Galloway)