RealTime IT News

Prot�g� Announces $20 Million Funding Deal

U.K.-based business incubator Protégé, which specialises in bringing North American Internet companies to Europe, has announced a $20 million deal to finance its activities.

The investment comes from Global Retail Partners (GRP), a venture capital fund backed by Carrefour S.A, Paul Allen's Vulcan Ventures and Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette. It is the first outside funding Protégé has received.

"Our partnership with Global Retail Partners is the catalyst for Protégé to extend its dominant position in growing and nurturing European Internet start-ups," said Larry Levy, president and CEO of Protégé.

"GRP's deep retail roots and expertise in growing global e-commerce companies, coupled with our broad experience in the European Internet technology and infrastructure markets, makes Protégé the ideal European start-up platform -- whether for North American Internet companies looking to expand into Europe, or European Internet companies just starting up."

Protégé has helped over twenty North American Internet companies expand in Europe, including Vignette Corp., NetGravity, Kana Communications, OpenSite Technologies, Sandpiper Networks, AvantGo, Placeware, Ironside Technologies, Delano Technology and Virage.

It is expected that Protégé will manage start-up companies in Europe in which venture capitalists, including GRP, can later invest. It provides a business start-up environment called iCocoon that offers access to Internet and business infrastructures.

Other core business units at Protégé include the "Virtual Management" division for handling international expansion, and Citria for delivering e-business solutions based on the technologies of the companies being managed.