The former chief executive of Mozilla has raised $US35 million ($47.4 million) for his new startup in 30 seconds — all thanks to a coin the company created itself.
Overnight web browser startup Brave, which was founded by technologist and former Mozilla head Brendan Eich, launched an “initial coin offering” (ICO), making use of the blockchain to raise funds for the next stage of its growth.
An ICO involves selling investors a cryptocurrency, which has value in relation to another crypocurrency, like Bitcoin or Ethereum. For this offering, Brave created its own currency, called the Basic Attention Token, or BAT. It sold one billion BAT, which is equivalent to 156,250 Ethereum, or $US35 million.
According to Coindesk, the investment round only involved 130 individuals, with five investors accounting for half of the capital invested overall.
Techcrunch reports most of the proceeds from the ICO will go towards developing the startup’s advertising platform. Eich’s startup proposes to use the blockchain to improve the online advertising system for advertisers, publishers and users.
Prior to the ICO, Brave had already raised US$7 million from investors in 2016.
Initial coin offerings are starting to emerge as a potential way of funding startup projects, however, up to this point they have mainly been used to fund the development of other cryptocurrencies. The currency Ethereum was developed in 2014 in a similar crowdfunding format.