Deals

BlackBerry Partner Fund manager Relay Ventures, formerly ATP, announces second $150M mobile fund

ATP Capital, the firm that manages the BlackBerry Partners Fund, Clairmont Capital, and JLA Ventures, is today re-branding itself as Relay Ventures to sex up its image. (And let’s face it, anything is better than three capital letters.)

Relay Ventures is also announcing a new $150 million early-stage mobile fund, dubbed the BlackBerry Partners II fund, which will be platform agnostic and independently managed. The fund will be led by Canada’s Northleaf Capital Partners and will see participation from Blackberry maker Research in Motion (obviously), Corus Entertainment, and Thomson Reuters.

“This re-branding initiative finally unifies the three brands that we’ve been operating under and the more than $800MM in capital that we’ve raised,” said Kevin Talbot, Relay Ventures’ co-managing partner, in a statement today. “Our new brand brings unity and clarity to our mandate as an early stage venture investor.”

Explaining the issue with the firm’s old name, Talbot wrote on the Relay Ventures blog:

In addition to ATP being an acronym for the Association of Tennis Professionals and Adenosine Triphosphate (a coenzyme AND the name of a Japanese alternative rock band fronted by a guy named “Mug”), it stood for Albright Talbot Partners. Clearly, it was not our most creative moment and the name never took hold as an umbrella brand for the various funds that we manage, largely because we never knew or understood when to use it rather than one of the other brands we managed.

Relay Ventures has been ranked as the third most active fund in mobile and wireless by Ridgecrest Capital Partners, behind Sequoia Capital and Intel Capital. The firm has backed 32 mobile companies (28 of those in the last three years), six of which have been acquired, according to co-managing partner John Albright.

Coinciding will all of its new announcements, Relay Ventures will also open an office in Silicon Valley’s Menlo Park. Talbot recently moved to the Bay Area, and he’ll be joined by new  partner John Occhipinti, formerly a partner with Woodside Fund.

Overall, Relay Ventures has made 84 investments since 1996, 42 of which have exited through mergers, acquisitions, and by going public. The firm has raised over $800 million so far.