BitCoin-based Browser Brave acquires $4.5 Million in FundingAugust 2, 2016
The creators of the Brave browser, which is designed with a novel ad-blocking system, recently raised over $4.5 million as they gear up to expand their efforts and the development of the same product. The main idea of the browser is to provide its users with the ability to voluntarily provide payments in BTC microtransactions to the websites that they frequent while they receive an ad-free browsing experience.
The company developing the browser has been active for some time but when the browser was first revealed in the beginning months of 2016, a large number of media companies signed a letter asking Brave Software to end their project. Actually, the letter was formed in a way that was similar to a cease-and-desist notice than anything else. The reason for this approach was the fact that these companies, including some of the biggest content publishing factions on the planet, perceived Brave as a browser that will illegally stop people from accessing their revenue generators, or ads.
Interestingly, the ad-blocking schemes that are currently employed by hundreds of millions of users remain out of the reach of the same companies. But, Brave Software desired to approach the industry with open arms and showcase why their software could actually boost the revenues in the age when all online ads-based advertising is going down.
A Push for the Content Providers
After the letter was received, the creators of Brave decided to engage the content industry and try to clear up the entire process they are active in. That is why the company contacted other businesses, like media outlets, which sent the letter and explained that Brave is not just meant as a method of suppressing data mining. Instead, its purpose is to provide media organizations and content providers with a method of generating revenue from people who are already now using ad-blockers.
The approach took time and effort but it provided the desired results – content providers decided to give the browser room for development and to lower their legal guns. The company took this development as a clear indication that their concept can work. In the subsequent months, they managed to procure almost $5 million and now, the development cycle can switch into a higher gear.
Expanding Brave through Funding
Brendan Eich, CEO and founder of Brave Software explained that the money which was attained will go into the process of expanding their team. According to him, they 10 employees should soon turn into 20 as the browser continues its development.
Eich also said that the company is actively pursuing a win-win scenario for publisher and users. The browser sees its users as the priority, but they also desire to allow publishers to attain a better share of the revenue compared to that which they generate currently against the backdrop of ad-blocking.
The results of the same philosophy clearly resonated with the participants of the latest round of funding. These included Propel Venture Partners, Founders Fund’s FF Angel, Digital Currency Group, Pantera Capital and Foundation Capital which raised the sum to well above $4 million. In total, since the company started working, it has raised over $7 million.
Now, this company, based in San-Francisco, plans to place the money into developing new features for the browsers and attaining more staff. In the next phase, the company also plans to expand its quality assurance capacity and included it more into its overall growth strategy.
The Value of Brave
Speaking in front of Pantera Capital, its CEO Dan Morehead said that his company’s investment of $1 million in the last round is mainly due to the Brave’s ability to inhabit the space between consumers and content creators. This unique position of the browser is what, according to Morehead, resonated with Pantera Capital and their decision to invest heavily in it. He also explained that the recent IT history clearly showed that the browser industry left a lot of room for any disrupters.
Here, he cited the Netscape position on the market which seemed completely out of reach for anyone else, but also the fate of the Internet Explorer which was even less expected, when the might of the Microsoft is taken into consideration. But, like mobile development, E-Sports, and other fast-moving IT domains, browser industry can shift quickly and propel contenders to the top spots in a relatively short time span.
Morehead hopes that Brave has the potential to be a similar disruption by filling a particular space that definitely exists in the market today. In this particular case, the innovation that the company brings to the market is the ability of users to protect their identity while at the same time, it offers media businesses a chance to generate revenue where they previously attained nothing.
Currently, the models which are active include the ads, subscription, and ad-blocking, all of which are very problematic for either the consumers or the content providers. Morehead believes that the Brave browser is the middle ground which bridges the territory of ad-saturation which irritates the users and ad-blocking which chokes the content companies.
BitCoin as the Key Currency
Brave is in a partnership deal with CoinBase and BitGo which will provide its users with purchase tools and BTC wallets, while the company also looks for partnership opportunities with the Blockchain.info wallet provider. But, at the same time, the company is not thinking about providing support to either Ethereum or Ethereum Classic.
For now, the company will work only with BitCoin because they desire a system that has a proven track record. Not only this, but the company is also excited about using BTC as a network which provides the most potential. The same potential is recognized by many others, including ordinary users who like to employ BTC to bet online; all of them agree wholeheartedly with this assessment.
But, one thing that will keep the engineers at Brave Software working hard in the upcoming months is their design of the browser’s services for identity protection. The same information is something that the browser has to make sure is not accessible to marketers who try to shape ads according to data mining.
For now, the browser can be downloaded for the Android and iOS platforms, but also attained on several desktop OS. However, this version is designed for developers, while the first 1.0 Brave release is scheduled to take place in September 2016.