The BlackBerry Partners Fund isn’t so much an investment arm of RIM as it is a tech investment fund that invests in North American tech companies. Relay Ventures (the new brand for the BlackBerry Partners Fund), has commenced its second $150M mobile fund. Like its predecessor, the new fund will continue to be an independently managed, platform agnostic, earlystage venture fund with a singular focus on mobile computing.
The fund seems to be very Silicon Valley heavy now, as it has opened a Silicon Valley office and hired John Occhipinti from the Valley as a partner. Kevin Talbot, who worked with the first iteration of the Partners Fund out of Toronto, has relocated to the Valley. After hearing this, we can’t help but yawn at the fact that it’s yet another investment fund in the Valley and one less partner in Canada.
UPDATE: After talking with Relay Ventures, it seems there’s more of a Canadian angle then the press release let on. According to the PR team:
“The Fund now has an active presence in both Toronto and Silicon Valley. John Albright and Marc Faucher are the two partners that are continuing to lead things in Canada from the Toronto office; and Kevin Talbot and John Occhipinti are the two partners leading things in Silicon Valley. Overall, the entire team is focused on the North American market.
Relay Ventures is now the only Canadian VC firm with an office in Silicon Valley. Relay will continue to be very active in the local Canadian market, and the great thing is that they can now also support their Canadian portfolio companies’ business interests in Silicon Valley. This is a huge advantage that Canadian startups didn’t have before. Canadian companies in their portfolio will essentially have access to the heart of the tech and mobile industry for networking, funding, partnerships and acquisitions. The bottom line is that the Silicon Valley presence will help Canadian entrepreneurs be more successful.”