Ad-Blocking Browser Readies September Launch

Brave, the new web browser being tested by former Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich, will launch for both desktop and mobile devices in September, after the company raised $4.5 million in seed funding in July.

Brave blocks online ads automatically, instead replacing them with its own programmatic ads, with Brave getting a 15% cut of the ad revenue. The open-source browser also blocks online trackers. Brave’s backers argue that built-in ad-blocking reduced the page loading times, and guards against ads that are infected with malware.

The company expects its browser to be up to 60% faster than others on desktops and as much as four times faster than other mobile browsers.

“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,” Eich, president and CEO of Brave Software, said in a statement. “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.”

BitGo and Coinbase are working with Brave to offer wallets and purchasing tools for Brave Ledger, a Bitcoin-based micropayments system, which automatically pays websites that are most-visited by users.

The $4.5 million in funding comes from Pantera Capital, Founders Fund’s FF Angel, Propel Venture Partners, Foundation Capital and Digital Currency Group. To date, Brave has received $7 million in funding.

“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,” Cyan Banister, partner at Founders Fund, said in a statement.

Dan Morehead, CEO of Pantera Capital, added: “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.”