Google Invests in WiFi Company
Google was one of several angel investors to contribute to a bridge funding round for Meraki, a Mountain View-based company that sells wireless routers.
The exact amount of the investment is unknown, but the total round was under a million dollars, according to Katie Fehrenbacher at GigaOm.
Google's investment can be interpreted as part of their strategy to increase broadband penetration, and thus consumer use of the Internet. The idea being that the more people use the Net, the more people will interact will Google products and advertising, and the more data Google can index.
Google rarely invests in companies, but when they do, those companies seem to be involved with broadband penetration. In 2005 Google invested in Current Communications, which provides broadband Internet service over power lines (BPL). In 2004 Google invested in Chinese-language search firm Baidu. Google also invested $1B for a 5% stake in AOL last year.