Brave Software is a privately held, for-profit company founded in 2015. Brave Browser, the main product of Brave Software, Inc., managed to pass 50 million monthly active users in 2021 and generate the majority of 40.5 million dollars in revenue. The growth, however, didn’t stop at 50 million. You can check their growth record, updated daily, in the transparency data feed.
In this article, we’ll look at how the company behind the world’s most popular privacy-focused browser makes money and how the Brave business model works.
How Brave Software Started
Brave Software was founded in 2015 by Brian Bondy and Brendan Eich, two highly talented people from the computer science space, with the first version of Brave Browser, launched the following year.
When the Brave Browser launched, it used Bitcoin to motivate publishers to join their platform. It was a simple model and not as elegant as we know it nowadays. The browser would block external ads and serve its own. The publisher would get 55% from ads served on their sites, and the remaining 45% was equally split between the reader and Brave. However, the ads were served in a separate window, making it very clumsy.
Later in 2017, with the price of cryptocurrencies skyrocketing, Brave decided to join the hype and launch their own cryptocurrency called Basic Attention Token (BAT). With huge success, Brave raised over $30 million within less than 30 seconds.
The name of the coin represents the fact that BAT is rewarded to users for their attention.
In June 2018, Brave released a pay-to-surf test version of the browser. This test version was supposed to run only for a limited time while collecting detailed logs of the user’s browsing activity for testing purposes. However, testing was extended and led to the full release of the browser.
In December of that year, Brave switched from Electron to Chromium, with a need for something more flexible and easier to maintain. This switch translates to a 22 percent speed boost. This change was also welcomed by users who could now simply visit the Chrome Web Store and install any of the themes and extensions they wanted. And also made the switch from Chrome to Brave smoother because of included options to import your whole browser to Brave.
From this point on, it’s not far from the Brave browser as we know it today. Brave Software worked hard to implement changes, and the number of users was increasing daily. Up to this day, when nearly 51 million people use Brave Browser every month, generating over $40 million a year. But how does Brave make all this money?
How Does Brave Make Money
Brave generates revenue through various income streams, including advertising, subscriptions, selling both physical and digital products, and affiliate revenue.
Now let’s take a closer look at every one of these ways how Brave makes money.
As was already said at the beginning of this article, the majority of revenue is generated through Brave’s browser, from displaying ads. Brave has a native ad-blocking feature that blocks all the ads. But users can enable to be shown Brave’s ads.
If a user opts in to be shown ads, he or she earns free crypto BAT just by using their browser as they normally would.
The advertiser pays for the ad to be shown, and a user who sees this ad gets 70 percent of the ad revenue. The remaining 30 percent go to Brave.
Users also have the option to donate their BAT to their favorite publishers or to Brave itself.
Besides the browser, Brave has other software under its wings, from which they collect subscription revenue.
Brave Firewall combined with VPN was launched in mid-2022. It offers a free version with limited features, but users can subscribe for $9.99 per month to enjoy the app’s full functionality. The biggest downside of Brave VPN is the missing desktop app; it’s available only for mobile devices.
Similarly, users can pay a $7.99 monthly subscription fee for a conferencing tool called Brave Talk. A competitor to well-known apps like Zoom or Google Meet.
Digital and Physical Products
Brave also makes money by selling both digital and physical products through its Swag store.
The company offers a variety of branded items, including jackets, hats, and hoodies.
The coolest thing about their store is the fact that you can pay with BAT or ETH at the checkout, in addition to your card.
Lastly, Brave also collects affiliate revenue through various partner companies. For instance, if you open a new browser tab right now, you can see companies like Gemini, Binance, and Crypto.com offering you to start trading crypto right now, directly from your browser. From each made transaction, Brave will receive a commission.
Additionally, Brave has also a dedicated page for affiliate offers called Brave Offers. Here, you can get discounts on various products, free trials, and so like.
Brave also has its own crypto wallet that helps generate revenue through swap fees.
We tried to answer the question of how does Brave browser make money in detail. If we had to summarize, the main income comes from selling ad space. You can actively participate in this simply by using your Brave browser and generating rewards for yourself in the form of a BAT token. 70 percent of ad revenue goes to you, the rest is taken by Brave.
In addition to that, Brave also makes money through its other products, like VPN or conferencing software, and through affiliate commissions from products they promote.
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