maxthon3 1 Google Getting Cozy With Maxthon Browser, Gets Minority StakesGoogle has just acquired a minority stake of upto $1 million in Maxthon, a Chinese web browser. This investment is rumored to be part of a “much larger strategic deal” between the two companies.

Maxthon is a really slick tabbed, fully customizable and totally free web browser built on top of Microsoft´s Internet Explorer platform. The browser also supports mouse gestures, Drag and Drop, Ad hunter, Popup blocker, Proxy based browsing, RSS feed support, Customizable skins, and is really memory efficient. I am a regular user of both Firefox and Maxthon and have experiece firefox getting bogged down if you open 8-10 tabs for a while, whereas Maxthon continuously free memory making it to perform at optimal. Full Maxthon feature list is here.

Maxthon has had over 80 million downloads, half of which are in Mainland China. Maxthon originated searches account for around 25% of Baidu´s traffic. Unlike Firefox, Maxthon has a global footprint with bulk of its users in China and Europe. The default Maxthon search option sends searches to Baidu in China and Yahoo in other countries. Google will surely want it to be replaced with Google Search, which is certainly the most powerful way to acquire traffic.

The deal is significant for both Maxthon and Google. Google would gain a huge footprint in China and rest of the world instantly by becoming a default search option in Maxthon. Maxthon will gain scores of new users with Google promoting it as a preferred browser on its sites. Further more it will definitely be getting a share of revenue from searches that will originate from its search box, just like Firefox does. Most of Firefox´s multi million dollar revenue is generated because of its deal with Google, in which Google shares revenues with Firefox for all searches that originate from Firefox.

Maxthon has raised around $6 million to date. Morten Lund and WI Harper were the angel investors in March 2005, they are the same guys who were behind Skype. CRV invested around $5 million in March 2006. Maxthon most likely will not have to raise another round after this deal.

Read: Techcrunch and ReadWriteWeb

 Google Getting Cozy With Maxthon Browser, Gets Minority Stakes