Handset provider Research In Motion has announced its plans to launch the Blackberry Partners Fund in India. According to a Business Line report, the firm has communicated the same to the Indian IT & Communications department.
Set up in 2008, the Blackberry Partners Fund is a joint venture by RIM, Thomson Reuters, Royal Bank of Canada and other investors. Portfolio companies of the fund include network as a service provider Aepona; location-sensitive entertainment listings service Buzzd; mcommerce platform Digby; mobile business intelligence provider Neralitic Systems; mobile advertising solutions developer Nexage; mobile payment firm Payfone; app store Pocketgear.com; social gaming
firm Socialdeck; mobile video ads provider Transpera; Viewdle which offers a facial recognition algorithm for mobiles and desktops and a travel app called Worldmate.
The fund will offer seed and venture capital to entrepreneurs specifically targeted at the mobile sector. Interestingly, it claims it is device, platform and stage agnostic.
According to the report, RIM has submitted a white paper to Kapil Sibal, the Indian Communications and IT minister, in which it says, "BlackBerry supports Indian Government policies to promote affordable accessibility to wireless mobility through efficient use of wireless spectrum; powerful, affordable and longer battery life smartphones and spectrally efficient and lower royalty wireless standards like evolved EDGE."
RIM will also launch its university relations and alliance programs in India. “RIM has developed an integrated program of public-private partnership to actively nurture this potential. Our university
relations programs provide funding and curriculum resources for the further development of India's ICT workforce. Our alliance program provides India's developers with tools and distribution mechanism to enable profitable and sustainable firms to grow with BlackBerry,” the company has said in the whitepaper.
BlackBerry Partners Fund had entered into a joint venture with China Broadband Capital Partners in early 2010 to launch a $100 million affiliate to invest in the country. It also said late last year that
it will directly invest in emerging markets like China, India and Brazil. The two co-managers of BlackBerry Partners Fund, JLA Ventures and RBC Venture Partners, were merged last year and manage a combined total of $607.84 million.