Will Brave Sell Out To Google?

Hello I really love the brave browser and the only real thing I am scared about is them selling out to a huge company like google. Brave browser already uses chromium which is already kind of scary even though they say they take all the Google out of it… Would love to hear your guys opinions!

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Hello @Anubis

I am on the team (Director, BD), and am happy to help with this question.

I’ll be as transparent and up front about this as possible.

With regard to:

Will Brave sell out to Google?

The answer is, most likely not. There are some reasons which I will list out below.

Before I do that, there are some things to consider with the question you’ve posed:

Brave is a startup. Answers to questions like “will Brave get acquired” won’t be a hard yes or no. Saying no with confidence would be silly for a startup to say with a straight face.

As we grow, and as we deliver, the combination resonates and stands out to a lot of entities that are following what we are doing.

This makes Brave an attractive prospect, especially given the problems we aim to solve with the BAT and the attention economy.

Does this make Brave an entity that companies want to acquire ^ ? Yes, most likely. Advertising in it’s current form is a huge liability and privacy dumpster fire, with no signs of slowing.

Could we get acquired? It’s a possibility. I mean, if a company came in with an attractive offer, it would most likely receive an appropriate level of consideration. Brave wouldn’t approach a deal without ensuring that the entity making the offer appears to be doing it for the right reasons.

Brave is mainstreaming privacy by design, open source, and reshaping an alternative for funding the web and rewarding users.

Anyone with a startup like ours that answers a hard “no” is most likely not being forthright.

Startups exist to make change and succeed. Brave is no different in that regard. The thing that makes an acquisition scenario a bit different in our case is the Basic Attention Token.

There is a User Growth Pool of +300M BAT with substantial value to bootstrap the platform. We are executing on the white paper, which aims to stand up an alternative attention economy that doesn’t come at the expense of user privacy. An attention economy that does this in a GDPR world is of substantial potential value, and would be likely factored into any discussion about an acquisition. It would be an expensive acquisition to consider, given the potentially huge long term value of a privacy compliant rewards based platform with a publicly verifiable accounting record and open source code base.

The problem with entities like Google acquiring Brave is two-fold:

  1. Google’s shareholders see Google as an advertising entity, with such a significant amount of revenue driven by the existing (broken and privacy invasive) ad model. Despite the problems, Google still sells it’s ad product stack at a premium. Buying Brave would signal acceptance on behalf of Google that web monetization is fundamentally broken, which becomes a potentially large no-confidence flag for investors and existing customers.

It’s a similar reason why you won’t see significant ad blocking and tracking protection ship with Chrome. Google would likely be sued by shareholders for threatening their primary source of revenue. Chrome can ship “ad filtering” which is essentially a diet coke / publisher demonetization and forced compliance scheme, but it isn’t the real thing, and Google can’t stop collecting data.

Our business model and value prop are the polar opposite of ^. We are open. We care about privacy. We want a better web. We have little tolerance for BS. Any entity approaching Brave would likely realize that wavering on the core principles would be like throwing dollars in a bonfire.

  1. One thing I can say with high confidence is that what keeps people using Brave has been our ability to deliver performance and a solid experience, while being able to stick to core, guiding principles with regard to user privacy protection and a commitment to build models for revenue with privacy by design, that reward users. That won’t change.

Brave is also open source, and has an integrated open source platform with the BAT. Let’s say that Brave were acquired, the moment that the parent company started meddling, there’s a high likelihood of users exiting, as they rely on Brave delivering privacy and performance in a real way. Faking privacy, or watering it down, is something that stands out. People know. People don’t put up with it. Our team certainly wouldn’t. We are about protecting our users, not selling them out.

If you look at the past history with Brave, there are plenty of opportunities where Brave could have wavered or watered down our core principles, but we haven’t, and we won’t. Our team wouldn’t stand for it, and without our team the whole project basically loses pulse and soul of what makes Brave, Brave.

If some company came in with an insane offer that honored conditions of keeping our core guiding principles in place, I can’t say it wouldn’t be entertained. We’re a business after all.

That said, this topic isn’t really one we discuss. We have focus on creation over sales. Our team is really passionate about this work, and with the problems we aim to solve and the attention economy we aim to create, the focus remains on the work and delivering something real with lasting value.

We like doing what we do, and aren’t shopping around for an exit. This is a rare thing we have going at Brave, and everyone on the team knows it.

The last thing I want to mention is that while Brave uses Chromium, Chromium is an open source project, and Google doesn’t influence our work (except for the fact that we want to protect users from Google and others persistently tracking and profiling their data without consent).

I know this is a long winded answer, but it’s an honest one and worth the time in my opinion. Happy to address any follow up questions. Just tag me in the responses so I can get an alert, and I’ll follow up to help clear up any questions or concerns.

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:point_up: :fire::fire::fire::fire::fire:

Useful links for anyone reading:

BAT Whitepaper

Brave files GDPR complaint against Google, Ad Tech companies

More from @luke.mulks on Brave, privacy, crypto, etc

Brave writes to all 28 members of EU

A fair breakdown about the difference between the Chrome web browser and the Chromium Project

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