Relay Ventures Names Ex-Woodbridge Chief Beattie Chairman

Geoff Beattie, former deputy chairman of news and information provider Thomson Reuters Corp., has been named chairman of Relay Ventures to scout new investment opportunities for the Canadian venture capital fund.

Beattie was president of the Woodbridge Co., the investment holding company for the Thomson Family through which it controls Thomson Reuters, until last December. Patriarch David Thomson is the 22nd-richest person in the world, with a net worth of $24.4 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

“I will readily share my insights, advice and extensive network to further establish the firm as a global force in the rapidly growing mobile industry,” Beattie said in a statement.

Relay, based in Toronto and Menlo Park, California, has more than C$500 million ($477 million) invested in 40 mobile-computing startups, including Appcelerator and Aepona. The venture fund, formerly known as ATP Capital, raised about $150 million in early 2012 to invest in wireless application developers and other software companies that build programs for smartphones like Apple Inc.’s iPhone.

Relay Ventures is “platform agnostic” and invests in companies that build for Apple, Google Inc.’s Android platform and the new BlackBerry 10 operating system, Kevin Talbot, managing partner of Relay Ventures, said in a telephone interview.

Beattie’s role will be to advise Relay on its expansion plans, be it geographically or beyond the mobile computing area where its focus currently lies, he said.

“In three to four years as we continue to grow this business, how will this business evolve?” said Talbot. “He’s an extremely accomplished and experienced executive and he will push us harder and help us think about things that we otherwise wouldn’t normally think of.”

Bloomberg LP, the parent of Bloomberg News, competes with Thomson Reuters in providing financial news and information.

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