18 October 2000

Procter & Gamble is combing Europe for opportunities to make multimillion dollar investments in internet start-ups with the capacity to become category leaders.

Richard Kiley, director of the US consumer products group’s internet fund, said between $2 million and $5m dollars was available for any European start-up that can provide a decent return on the investment, create strategic synergies with P&G and help shake up the group’s corporate culture.

The move is part of a search for new commercial openings, and P&G is particularly interested in web companies linked with some part of its business interests. It has operated a similar programme in the USA, backing patents exchange site yet2.com.

“P&G has for a couple of years been trying to find ways to re-invent itself to drive innovation faster”, commented Kiley, “"What I am really doing is replicating in Europe what we have successfully done in the US”.

“I think the European market is developing in a unique way”, he added, “If you take an area like interactive TV or wireless, then Europe is well ahead of the US”.

News source: Financial Times