Google invests in Maxthon

Multiple sources are confirming that the Chinese/Israeli startup behind the Maxthon Browser has sold a minority stake to Google. The total investment size is rumored to be around $1 million. We are also hearing that this investment is part of a "much larger strategic deal" between the two companies.

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. 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. The deal was apparently done at least two months ago, but the companies have delayed releasing the news. We've contacted Netanel Jacobsson at Maxthon about this story, but he has declined to comment. We also have an email into Google PR for comment.

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

News source: TechCrunch

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32 Comments

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Gee, looky here, a bitch slap/browser-circle-jerk-fest where a rational and informative discussion about browser news was thought to be. Who woulda thunk it.

Wow! Great news. I still remember when I first downloaded a browser called MyIE2 I wouldn't have thought this would happen.

A little off topic...

It annoys me when so many people just crap all over browsers and say that Mozilla/Firefox is the best there is. To be honest with you, I originally started using Crazy Browser, then MyIE2, and then Maxthon. I have tried a total of 4 times in the past few years to migrate over to Mozilla/Firefox and I just never liked it. Maxthon provides just the right amount of integrated things such as tabs, customizable search syntax, mouse gestures, etc. And yes, I know Firefox can do this too to some extent but I hated downloading extensions that ended up not working right or the way I wanted them to. Not to mention the other problems such as the memory leak that the first version had.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that people should stop acting all high and mighty about a web browser. People should just try the many that are out there and use the one they like and not criticize others for using that particular browser... the world would be a happier place!

Amen +1!!

You can say this about other software, OS's, CPU's, Motherboards, Graphic Cards, etc..... People need to get a grip on other people's chioices. It is their choice not yours. Use what you want and quit b%$tching about what everyone else does.

I for one love Maxthon. I've been using it for years. Does what I want and how I want. I also have Google set up as my default search engine. Again, have for years.

DLW

they are just buying it to get the portal, theres no way google cares about this stupid browser
they have themselves as default search in firefox, opera and now maxthon, thats what they really want

Oddly enough, in the newest Opera 9.2 beta it has a Yahoo search box in Speed Dial and on portal.opera.com. Either their current deal with Google is running out, or Google doesn't care about other competing search engines being side by side in a product.

(Google is still included in the list of search engines; it's still set as default in the upper right search box.)

To everyone questioning why Google is investing, the answer should be pretty obvious... It's not about what browser is "better", it's not about good software, it's all about MONEY -- or more simply, more people using their search engine.

I use both all the time (firefox on my linux boxes, maxthon in windows). I MUCH prefer maxthon. It's got a ton of time saving features I use very often

I wouldnt be entirely surprised if the fact over half the 80 million users are from China has anything to do with the decision. Google seems to have a slightly rougher time there due to censorships so perhaps by supporting a projects thats quite popular there will be a bit of an image boost. Inbuilt search features too may just help them out also in pushing their search there.

Why would Google care about a browser that is essentially an IE shell?

Google would be better off investing that million and more in making their own fork of Firefox with Google branding and features.

Code Blue said,
Why would Google care about a browser that is essentially an IE shell?

Google would be better off investing that million and more in making their own fork of Firefox with Google branding and features.


Maxthon uses the IE Engine, Firefox uses the gecko engine, so if you want to hold this true, then no browser is a real browser except for opera which uses its own engine.

p.s. you would make a crap business man.

linx05 said,

Maxthon uses the IE Engine, Firefox uses the gecko engine, so if you want to hold this true, then no browser is a real browser except for opera which uses its own engine.

p.s. you would make a crap business man.

You would make an even crapper debater, because clearly, IE is a real browser according to his logic (IE uses its own engine too)

Ledward said,

You would make an even crapper debater, because clearly, IE is a real browser according to his logic (IE uses its own engine too)

Well that was a nice try but not close enough. Depends which IE you're talking about. IE7 contains no Mosaic but IE6 does. So then if you want to get technical IE7 is a 'real browser' but IE6 isn't. That's what the fanboys said anyway.

linx05 said,
Firefox uses the gecko engine, so if you want to hold this true, then no browser is a real browser except for opera which uses its own engine.

Pardon? The Gecko engine is being developed for FireFox?

bryan09 said,
it's interesting ! what can we expect as Maxthon users?

Mayb some google branding... Mayb in the future we'll see Google Ads come up somewhere in the corner.. But considering google is "THE" good guy, it doesnt seem like they r gonna hijack ur PC!!

Maxthon supports the Gecko engine (used by Mozilla) and IE7 engines. So you can choose whichever platform you prefer. I think this is one of the better browsers and is super fast. All the features are built in unlike Firefox which is almost as good with add ons.

Yeah, they invested in IE technology.

And Firefox (and other browsers) is designed to be light on features, it isn't a flaw, if you want everything and the kitchen sink then that's what Seamonkey's for (as well as Opera, Maxthon, etc.)