Political Risk Latin America Blog @PolRiskLatam

BlackBerry Partners to Raise $150M Fund for BRIC Markets

Posted in News and Articles, Political Risk by politicalrisklatam on November 2, 2010

by Hugo Miller for Latin American Venture Capital Association, October 28th, 2010.

BlackBerry Partners Fund, a venture- capital firm backed by Research In Motion Ltd., plans to raise at least $150 million to invest in mobile-phone software developers in markets such as Brazil and India.

BlackBerry Partners announced plans in May for a $100 million fund focused on China, though now the firm has decided instead to raise more capital for it and invest in a broader range of countries including Brazil, India and Russia, said Kevin Talbot, co-managing partner of the firm.

Focusing just on China “would have consumed a tremendous amount of our capital” and limited the fund’s ability to invest outside North America, Talbot said yesterday in an interview in Toronto, where the fund is based. “There’s innovation percolating around the world, and there are five or six key regions where we need to have a presence.”

While the fund may still make U.S. investments, it will seek opportunities in Europe, Latin America and Asia, where software developers are creating applications for local consumers. RIM, based in Waterloo, Ontario, is counting on sales of cheaper BlackBerry models like the Curve to gain an edge over Apple Inc.’s pricier iPhone overseas and make up for slowing U.S. growth. Sales outside the U.S. climbed 93 percent last quarter from a year earlier, while U.S. revenue slipped 2.9 percent. (continue reading… )

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