Google Buys EtherPad Maker for Google Wave

Google today said it’s acquired AppJet, a web collaboration startup, for an undisclosed amount that is around $10 million (updated with new info about price) we hear is less than $20 million. AppJet’s EtherPad product will be shutting down in March and the team will join the Google Wave group.

The deal indicates Google’s intent to make the inscrutable Wave a productivity tool, rather than something more social. EtherPad is somewhat similar to Google Docs, showing a synchronized document modifiable by a group of participants. The company had introduced cool tools such as a “time-slider” that displayed the chronological revision history of a document.

Two of the three AppJet founders were formerly Google engineers. The startup, which had earlier focused on tools to build web apps, was funded through the Y Combinator program and had only raised around $700,000, according to TechCrunch. In related news, in a post on Hacker News responding to an outsider’s analysis, Y Combinator partner Paul Graham noted that 89 of 144 startups that have gone through the program are still alive.