Kenya: Innovators in Mobile Phone Sector to Gain From U.S.$150 Million Fund backed by RIM

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

Innovators could soon benefit from a $150 million global fund aimed at supporting start-ups who focus on developing creativity in the mobile phones sector.

Announced on Monday at the start of the Mobile World Congress currently underway in Barcelona, the fund will be backed by Research In Motion (manufacturers of the Blackberry phone) and the BlackBerry Partners Fund to provide independent venture capital fund focused exclusively on mobile computing.

"We are very pleased with the positive impact of the first Fund on our mobile ecosystem and we look forward to BlackBerry Partners Fund II bringing additional resources and support to mobile innovators in a broader range of international markets," said Jim Balsillie, Co-CEO at Research In Motion.

Over the last five years, growing interest in the country's mobile sector has seen increasing investment by multi-nationals. The BlackBerry Partners Fund II is expected to launch in June 2011 and will have a broader international mandate than the first fund.

The first BlackBerry Partners Fund was established in 2008 in collaboration with Research In Motion, Thomson Reuters, Royal Bank of Canada and a roster of high profile investors.

The Fund has made 13 investments to-date in mobile start-ups in Canada, the United States, Israel and Ireland. The Fund brings capital, resources and domain expertise to the partnerships it forms with exceptional entrepreneurs around the world who are shaping the future of the mobile eco-system.