from the May 2007 issue

Google buys stake in Israeli start-up Maxthon

"TechCrunch": The $1 million investment is part of a much larger strategic deal. Technology blog "TechCrunch" reports that Google Inc. (Nasdaq:GOOG) has acquired a minority stake in the Israeli-Chinese start-up Maxthon International Ltd., the developer of the Maxthon Browser, for $1 million, and that the investment is part of a "much larger strategic deal" between the two companies.

"TechCrunch" said, "The deal was apparently done at least two months ago, but the companies have delayed releasing the news.

The Maxthon Browser was developed by the Chinese, specifically for that market. "TechCrunch" says, "At the very least we expect the strategic deal to involve replacing the default search option in the browser from the Baidu search engine in China and Yahoo in other countries with Google search.

The deal may also go beyond search and involve integration with other Google services directly into the browser. Maxthon would then be promoted on Google as a preferred browser. Maxthon has had over 80 million downloads of its browser, and over half of its users are in China. Maxthon-originated searches may account for up to 25% of total Baidu traffic, according to one source."

Maxthon has raised $6 million to date. Seed financing came from Morten Lund and WI Harper in March 2005, and CRV invested around $5 million in the company in March 2006.

Reprinted from the Israel High-Tech & Investment Report May 2007

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