Google has announced a 1.65 billion dollar stock deal to buy video-sharing website YouTube. "The YouTube team has built an exciting and powerful media platform that complements Google's mission to organise the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful," Google chief executive Eric Schmidt said in a statement Monday. "Together, we are natural partners to offer a compelling media entertainment service to users, content owners and advertisers," he said. YouTube soared to online popularity after its launch in February 2005. The company claims that more than 100 million videos are watched daily by visitors to the free website, which features content provided by users. "Our community has played a vital role in changing the way that people consume media, creating a new clip culture," said YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley. "By joining forces with Google, we can benefit from its global reach and technology leadership to deliver a more comprehensive entertainment experience for our users and to create new opportunities for our partners." YouTube would continue to operate independently from its headquarters in San Bruno, California, after the acquisition is complete, according to Google. All of YouTube's 65 employees were to remain with the company. In unofficial Silicon Valley tradition, YouTube was launched on its meteoric rise from a garage. It announced a first round of funding of 3.5 million dollars from Sequoia Capital in November of last year.