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December 28, 2006

Google Invests in Xunlei. Will Lightning Strike Twice?

posted by MR WAVETHEORY at 12/28/2006 12:07:00 AM
Google (Nasdaq GOOG) has invested $5 million in Shenzhen Xunlei Network Technology Ltd., a Chinese Web site that helps users download videos from the Internet. Xunlei ("迅雷") means lightning search in Chinese (via and via). According to China Web 2.0, The investment announcement is expected to take place on January 5. Google China would invest $5 million and Ceyuan Venture would invest $15 million. The company was founded in Silicon Valley in 2002 and moved to Shenzhen in 2003 by two Valley entrepreneurs ("邹胜龙" and "程浩").

Xunlei was created in 2003 and is known for being a download accelerator for videos and software. Fortune China ranked Xunlei as one of the coolest companies of 2005. IDGVC invested $1 million into Xunlei and then a second round $10 million funding was invested into the company by Morningside and IDGVC. Xunlei’s software was downloaded over 110 million times and averages about 1.5 million downloads per day.

Some of Xunlei’s currently advertising customers are Dell, KFC, Lenovo, Motorola, Nokia, and Olay.

Existing investors in Xunlei include IDG Venture Capital and Morningside Asia Advisory Ltd. The Chinese Web site also has partnership agreements with companies such as Motorola Inc., Sina Corp. and Shanda Interactive Entertainment Ltd., according to its Web site.

Update: As some of the guys and gals on Sandhill road might know, Google also invested $5 million in Baidu.com, Inc. (ADR) (Nasdaq BIDU) at a $100 million valuation during the pre-IPO / mezzainine round. Google unloaded its stake in Baidu for a cool 10x return - $60 million. So, if history tells us anything about the future, Xunlei could be a nice 10 bagger for the VCs and for the big G.

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