General Atlantic Partners backs Priceline Europe

The European arm of the online airline ticket retailer is due to officially launch today.

US-based venture capital company General Atlantic Partners has invested $25m (E26.4m) in Priceline Europe, the internet company which allows customers to bid for products such as airline tickets, the Financial Times reports.

The investment is the second instalment of a proposed $50m investment announced last summer.

The newspaper quotes Bill Ford, partner of General Atlantic, saying that Priceline Europe had exceeded the targets set earlier in the year on launching the website, signing up suppliers and building a strong management team.

Shareholders in the internet company include its US parent Priceline.com, which contributed its technology, brand and intellectual property; General Atlantic; the airlines that have signed up to sell their tickets through the company and the management team.

The website has been live for some time, but is due to launch officially on today, backed by a TV advertising campaign.

Priceline Europe still has about $12m left of its initial $25m funding announced last summer and will spend about £10m on marketing this year, according to the newspaper.

Priceline.com and General Atlantic Partners announced the formation of Priceline.com Europe in June 2000.