October 31, 2020

$5 Million Quietly Raised by The Browser Company

To challenge Google Chrome’s dominance a handful of notable figures from Silicon Valley are backing a software startup. A software startup namely “The Browser Company” has raised just north of $5 million in funding. The company’s backers include Medium’s Ev Williams, LinkedIn’s Jeff Weiner, Notion’s Akshay Kothari, GitHub’s Jason Warner, and Figma’s Dylan Field. The startup is led by Josh Miller who previously served as Obama’s White House director of product and currently an investor at an investment firm Thrive Capital. Thrive Capital was founded by Josh Miller himself,.Miller says The Browser company is not the only young startup with a team of six aiming to challenge Chrome’s one-size-fits-all approach to the browser market. For extra crunch, they dug into various other browser startups that investors are backing.

The public is vague about the startup and on what exactly they are working. The software startup is working on building new browsers that embrace some of the more flexible interfaces and reject the bare bone simplicity of modern web apps. The browser’s back end uses open-source Chromium and built-in parts on the bones of Chrome. This allows the newly built browser to boast seamless support with broader web standards at launch. The startup sites say that “We love the internet, but it can be overwhelming, what if a browser could help us make sense of it all.”

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Miller in response to a question regarding capabilities of the product said that “I am going to be a little cagey because we do have competitors who have more engineers and more money than we do.” Miller was not much more illuminating on what exactly the eventual release might look like.

Google efforts to build Chrome versions are much suited to billions of people across the world and have led to safe products but what Miller says is not very “opinionated” about how people should use it. Google’s Chrome flat-out dominates the browser market. In 2016, Google specified that they had about 2 billion active installs of applications. After this detail, the users of Google competitors such as Internet Explorer and Firefox have dropped off greatly. So, this product (Google build version of Chrome) has only cemented its lead.

Miller says that the aim of Browser company is not to replace Chrome but making efforts to find a subset for Chrome users whose needs it can better meet. Miller also says that “he thinks one of the reasons that web browsers have remained somewhat stagnant in terms of their functionalities is that the business model built on top of is one of revenue and search.” He also added that “he thinks of Chrome and Safari as Hondas or Toyotas as everyone knows they are affordable, reliable, simple and accessible but what The Browser company is going to built as the Tesla of web browsers.” Miller is optimistic that at the end of this year The Browser Company is hoping to start bringing the software beta test to the users.

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