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Blackberry Partners Fund

Blackberry Partners Fund

Toronto-based Blackberry Partners Fund is a $150 million fund looking to bankroll mobile applications for smart phones, including RIM’s Blackberry. After months of deal scouting, the fund has announced three winners, including Israel’s WorldMate Inc, which will receive an $8 million investment from BlackBerry Partners Fund, Motorola Ventures and AMC Communications.

CEO Nadav Gur said in the official announcement (pdf):

“We’ve been instrumental in helping the travel industry enter the mobile space. This funding, as well as our association with the BlackBerry Partners Fund will help us take our leadership in this segment to the next level of commercial success.”

Based in Lod, Israel Worldmate was founded in 2000 and is privately held. Worldmate Live, its flagship product, is nicknamed ‘the travelers guardian angel’. The app enables frequent travelers to keep track of delayed flights, gate changes and cancellations for 175 airlines worldwide. It also provides live weather updates and listings to available hotels and suggested restaurants in the area, as well as  world clocks, currency converters and local maps.

The app uses pin points your location using GPS chips to keep the itinerary in sync with the time zone and make local recommendations. Worldmate is already in wide use and recently surpassed the million user mark on Nokia’s S60 platform. Worldmate Live offers both free and premium versions. download Worldmate here and watch the demo:

The Canceled Flight:

The Blackberry Partners Fund also invested $5.5 million in Digby,  a mobile commerce service provider as well as $3.2 million in NY based  Buzzd, a location-sensitive city guide and social network on the mobile device.

The Blackberry Partners Fund is backed by RBC Venture Partners, Thomson Reuters, JLA Ventures and BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion Ltd. The fund was started in May 2008 and is expected to announce several new investments in the coming months.

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Eze Vidra

Head of Google for Entrepreneurs Europe and Campus London at Google
Eze is the Head of Google for Entrepreneurs Europe and Campus London. In 2005, he started VC Cafe to shine a spotlight on startups and Venture Capital in Israel, and in 2012, Eze founded Techbikers, a non-for-profit that supports education through cycling challenges for techies.
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