The BlackBerry Partners Fund (BPF), a $150 million venture capital fund aimed at encouraging development of software for the BlackBerry, is investing $3.2 million (of a $10 million second round) in Xobni, a San Francisco-based email enhancement startup. Rick Segal, whose Toronto-based firm JLA Ventures is a partner in the BPF, alongwith RBC Ventures and others, blogged about the investment today. Excerpt:
Adam’s (Xobni co-founder) brilliance in exploiting Outlook can’t truly be appreciated until you dive in and see the code. Just off the charts smart. When doing my due diligence, I reached into the Redmond gang and no less than three times was given the “I can’t figure out how the $%#! they are doing this, it’s really amazing” commentary. Top tier respect coming right from Microsoft and a text book perfect play on the value add strategy. Well done.
BusinessWeek covered the announcement as well, noting that even Bill Gates is said to be a fan of the Xobni application – praising it in a speech last year.