It looks like philanthropy to invest millions in Africa. But, it could also be one of those amazingly far-sighted early-stage investments.
A bunch of entrepreneurs is backing O3b networks to put up 16 satellites to provide a wireless backbone for Africa. That’s Google, John Malone of Liberty Global, HSBC, Allen & Company… on the road to $750m in spend.
This could be a path for linking up with consumers in a host of other emerging markets. Hence the name of the firm… which stands for ‘Other 3 billion’… the half of the world that’s not currently within reach of Wikipedia and Facebook…
And, for more links to Google’s multifarious ambitions, check out this blog from Unstung.