Google has invested nearly $1 million in the Israeli-Chinese owned Maxthon browser, TechCrunch blog on technology start-ups reported Tuesday.
According to the report, the investment is part of a deal for strategic cooperation between the two companies.
Netanel Jacobsson, senior vice president for Maxthon, refused to confirm the report, but said, “the cooperation between companies began several months ago.”
Maxthon has nearly 82 million registered users, half of them in China and another 25 percent in the United States and Europe, who use this browser software.
The browser, which was developed by programmers from the Beijing University enables Internet surfers to block ads and has proved highly successful in China.
Jacobsson, who immigrated to Israel from England about five and a half years ago, heads the company's marketing and business development in Israel.
Maxthon raised nearly $5 million before Google's investment. The initial funds came from WI Harper and Morten Lund, while CRV invested $5 million in March 2006.
The web browsers market is controlled by Microsoft's Explorer software, which has recently been challenged by Firefox and other competing softwares.