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Based in central London, Unilever Ventures was formed in 2002 as a venture capital firm to provide funding and management skills for new businesses. The firm also provides expansion capital to aid the growth of existing companies. Unilever Ventures focuses upon businesses which produce goods that will appeal to a consumer market, and also those that utilise technology that has emerged or been developed by Unilever's Research Labs. They invest in businesses that originate both within Unilever and from external sources. By 2008 they had invested in nearly 20 businesses, mainly in the UK, but also accept applications from across Europe.
The firm invests in businesses in the following sectors: Food & Drink; Home & Personal Care; Beauty, Cosmetics & Wellbeing Services; Weight Management & Fitness; Healthcare; Leisure; Retail; Media and Environmental Services.
Unilever Ventures is backed by Unilever, and has full access to its brands and Research & Development, but operates independently.