Brave Software, a start-up which aims to reinvent the browser as a user platform for speed, privacy, and micropayments, announced that it has raised a $4.5 million seed round investment from leading venture capital firms and angel investors. Participating in the round were Founders Fund’s FF Angel, Propel Venture Partners, Pantera Capital, Foundation Capital, and Digital Currency Group. This round of funding will be allocated towards platform development and growth, bringing the total amount of funding to date to $7 million with previous angel funding from private investors.
Brave is a new open source browser for desktop and mobile that blocks invasive ads and online trackers to provide a faster and safer web experience. Brave has a built-in ad-blocker which should reduce page loading time, improve performance and guard from ads infected with malware. On the desktop, Brave has been stated to provide a 40% to 60% speed increase, and a 2x to 4x speed increase on mobile devices, with a related reduction in both battery and data plan consumption.
In partnering with BitGo and Coinbase, Brave provide wallets and purchasing tools for the Brave Ledger, a new bitcoin-based micropayments system that automatically and anonymously pays users’ favorite websites. Brave also will allow users and publishers to opt into a privacy-preserving ad model that shares revenue with users as well as publishers. Brave is currently available in developer version, and will launch its 1.0 release in September 2016.
Brendan Eich, President and CEO of Brave Software, said: “Online advertisers have been exploiting user data for years without consent, sometimes even infecting devices with malware. It’s no wonder that 200 million users worldwide have adopted ad-blocking to defend themselves. Viewing content on the Internet should not come at the expense of one’s safety. The Brave solution fends off intrusive ads and stops the collection of personal details by third parties, enhancing not just browsing speed, but security and privacy. With Brave, users can now fight back and keep their data private and defensible on their devices, while still supporting the content they wish to view via micropayments.”
Partner at Founders Fund, Cyan Banister explained: “The amount of information that online advertisers are able to gather without consent is staggering. As more people become aware of these threats to their privacy, there will be huge demand for Brave’s technology,”
Jay Reinemann, Partner at Propel Venture Partners, remarked: “We are proud to partner with Brave. We believe in their mission to fix the browsing experience and are excited Brave is using the blockchain to better support publishers and pay users,”
CEO of Pantera Capital., Dan Morehead commented: “Pantera is thrilled to be partnering with Brave to bring an enhanced user experience, privacy, and security to the browser. Brave is bringing an innovative model where users and publishers can get paid in real-time micropayments using the blockchain. We believe that Brendan and his team are best suited to execute on this vision,”