BlackBerry Partners Fund hires two

The fund’s co-managers, JLA Ventures and RBC Venture Partners, have each contributed a new hire to the smartphone-focused venture capital group. The additions of Marc Faucher and Matt Golden bring the head count to eight.

The BlackBerry Partners Fund has augmented its investment team with the hires of Marc Faucher and Matt Golden.

The $150 million venture capital fund was launched in May by the BlackBerry designer and manufacturer, Research in Motion, along with the Royal Bank of Canada and business information services company Thomson Reuters.

Marc Faucher

The Ontario-based fund is mandated to invest in smartphone applications and services for the BlackBerry and other mobile platforms. The fund is co-managed by Canadian venture firm JLA Ventures and the technology-focused venture arm of the Royal Bank of Canada, RBC Venture Partners.

Faucher joined the fund through his hire by JLA and Golden joined through his hire by RBC Venture.

Before his hire by JLA, Faucher focused on the communications and technology sectors at Summerhill Venture Partners. Summerhill was previously BCE Capital, the captive venture arm of Canadian telecom company Bell Canada, which spun out in July 2007 two months after its parent entered talks for a potential buyout. Summerhill closed its first independent fund on $175 million in January 2008.

Matt Golden

Bell Canada is moving towards the close of a $50 billion buyout by a consortium including the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, Providence Equity Partners, Madison Dearborn Partners and Merrill Lynch Global Private Equity. Upon close, the buyout will be the largest in history.

Prior to joining RBC Venture, Golden was a founding member of mobile content company Tira Wireless, where he worked in business and corporate development. He was previously at early stage Canadian venture firm Brightspark Ventures.

JLA Ventures closed its most recent fund on $121 million in November 2006. The firm primarily focuses on communications and systems, internet and media, and software and services companies across all growth stages.

RBC Venture pursues both software and financial services deals. The firm’s second software fund manages $150 million on behalf of the RBC for investments in early stage North American companies. RBC Venture’s debut financial services fund manages $100 million on behalf of the RBC for growth equity investments in technology-enabled financial services businesses.