Toronto’s Extreme Startups Becomes Latest New Accelerator

Canadian investors Extreme Venture Partners, OMERS Ventures, Rho Canada Ventures, BlackBerry Partners Fund and BDC have co-invested $7 million in a new accelerator program called Extreme Startups. Companies in the program will receive up to $200,000, including an initial investment of $50,000, with up to $150,000 in a convertible note provided by BDC. PRESS RELEASE […]

Catalog Spree Seals $6.1M for Shopping App

Catalog Spree, maker of a catalog shopping app for the iPad, has sealed $6.1 million in Series A funding. Comcast Ventures led the round, with participation from BlackBerry Partners Fund and El Dorado Ventures.

BlackBerry Partners Fund Announces Winners of Its “BBM” Competition

Blackberry Partners Fund, which recently staged its fourth annual “Developers Challenge” has announced the list of winners. The apps are judged on how well they integrate into the Blackberry platform, along with their visual appeal, the user experience they offer, and how creative they are. PRESS RELEASE: BlackBerry Partners Fund today announced the winners of […]

Investors Launch Vancouver-based “Start-up Boot Camp”

Venture investors iNovia Capital, the Business Development Bank of Canada and BlackBerry Partners Fund have teamed up to launch a Vancouver-based accelerator program called GrowLab, the firms announced Thursday. Dubbed a “start-up boot camp” for entrepreneurs, participating companies can seal up to $25,000 in seed financing, four months of mentorship, free office space and the opportunity to pitch investors at the end of the program for follow-on funding.

BlackBerry Partners Fund Leads $2M Round in Game Publisher Fuse Powered

BlackBerry Partners Fund has led a $2 million “seed” investment in the Toronto-based games publisher Fuse Powered. NFQ Ventures also participated in the financing. Fuse produces iOS games “Dawn of the Dead,” “Jaws,” and “Swarm Killer.” The deal marks the second time that BlackBerry Partners Fund has backed a game developer that’s focused on the […]

BlackBerry Partners Fund Launches $3M ‘Developer Challenge’

Toronto-based BlackBerry Partners Fund is launching a $3 million Blackberry ‘Developer Challenge.’ It is the fund’s fourth annual event for Blackberry developers, though the award represents twice the amount offered to applicants last year. Full details follow below. PRESS RELEASE: BlackBerry Partners Fund™ has launched today the fourth annual BlackBerry Partners Fund Developer Challenge. This […]

VC-Backed LocalResponse Launches Public Beta

Earlier this week, Nihal Mehta (pictured) announced he launched LocalResponse, a New York-based developer of a Web-based tool that allows local businesses to respond to check-in posts on social media sites with tailored marketing campaigns. Mehta co-founded the company, previously known as Buzzd, as a social city guide for location-based services. The company had raised about […]

Digby Inks $8M Series C

Austin-based mobile commerce start-up Digby has raised $8 million in Series C financing. Battery Ventures led the round, which included funding from BlackBerry Partners Fund, S3 Ventures and Daylight Partners. Digby focuses on mobile commerce products for retailers, and will use the money to bolster sales, marketing, research and platform development.


Payfone Inks $19M For Mobile Payments

Mobile payment start-up Payfone has added $19 million in strategic funding from American Express, Verizon Investments Inc., Rogers Ventures, and from existing shareholders Opus Capital, BlackBerry Partners Fund and RRE Ventures. The money is designed to help Payfone continue product development and global expansion. Formed in 2008, Payfone’s technology is designed to make mobile phones a preferred way to make online payments, opening up payment options to the non-credit-card world and bridging the gap in emerging markets, the company says.


Personal Trading of Shares by VCs on Secondary Exchanges Raises Concerns of Conflicts of Interest

The trading of private company shares in the personal accounts of venture capitalists is raising concerns over potential conflicts of interest for firms as the influence of secondary market exchanges continues to grow.

Numerous venture firms permit employees’ trading in secondary market shares with some limitations, including Lightspeed Venture Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners, YCombinator, Matrix Partners, Founder Collective, Blackberry Partners Fund, Volition Capital and Rho Ventures, according to a peHUB investigation into the practice.

Others — which appear far fewer in number — such as Flybridge Capital Partners, block the practice with policies demanding general partners hold no secondary securities. Many more VC firms refused to comment at all, when peHUB contacted senior partners.

(How do you feel about this issue? Take our poll at the end of this story.)

Sources at firms willing to acknowledge they prohibit GPs from making secondary market investments cited conflict of interest concerns when asked by

Neuralitic, After Latest VC Funding Round, Appoints New CEO

It’s good when the gang gets back together. This was the case a few days back, when, on Jan. 31, Neuralitic Systems, the mobile data behavior solutions firm, re-upped with its Series A investors, BDC Venture Capital, Vertex Venture Capital and GO Capital Fund. The Blackberry Partners Fund also tagged in, as did Export Development Canada, providing Neuralitic with $8 million, its largest round to date, nearly doubling its overall funding to more than $20 million, according to its Web site’s tally…


Neuralitic Systems Seals $8M Series B

Mobile data intelligence company Neuralitic Systems has raised $8 million in Series B financing. New investor Export Development Canada led the round, which included participation from existing investors BlackBerry Partners Fund, BDC Venture Capital, Vertex Venture Capital and GO Capital LP. The money will help Neuralitic Systems expand its operations and development. The company, based in Montreal, has raised a total of $20 million to date.

BlackBerry Partners To Focus On Mobile Investments

The co-managers of the $150 million BlackBerry Partners Fund have merged their teams and plan to focus exclusively on investments in mobile technology. The Toronto-based fund has made 12 investments since it launched in 2008, and is backed by limited partners Thomson Reuters, Research In Motion and RBC.


VCs Weigh In On Android Vs. Apple Vs. BlackBerry

Over the last six months, more people in the U.S. have bought a smartphone that runs an Android operating system than either a BlackBerry or an iPhone, according to data published today by the Nielsen Company. BlackBerry still holds the dominant share with 31 percent of the market, followed by 28 percent who have Apple iPhones […]

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