Unilever says it will invest 170m euros in venture capital funds to build opportunities in its core businesses of food, home and personal care.

Chairman Niall FitzGerald noted: “This enterprising approach - reflecting the new culture in Unilever - will bring ideas and services that will create ‘new connections’ with consumers worldwide.”

The Anglo-Dutch consumer goods giant said it had committed 100m euros to the newly created Langholm Capital Partners Fund, plus 40m euros over three years to a development fund called Unilever Ventures. And would invest a further 30m euros over three years in Unilever Technology Ventures, to target technology-based funds and start-up companies.