Propel invests in bitcoin-based browser platform Brave Software

Propel invests in bitcoin-based browser platform Brave Software

Propel Ventures, the $250 million venture fund established by BBVA, has participated in a $4.5 million seed round for Brave Software, a startup reinventing the browser for speed, privacy and micropayments.

Brave, co-founded by former Mozilla CEO and JavaScript creator Brendan Eich, has developed an open source browser for desktop and mobile that blocks invasive ads and online trackers. Security and privacy features include HTTPS Everywhere, fingerprinting shields, phishing protection, malware filtering and script blocking.

“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,” says Eich. “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.”

The Brave Ledger - a Bitcoin-based micropayments system that automatically and anonymously pays users’ favorite websites - allows users and publishers to opt-in to a revenue sharing ad model. To provide wallets and purchasing tools for the Brave Ledger, Brave is partnering with BitGo and Coinbase.

“We are proud to partner with Brave,” says Jay Reinemann, managing partner at Propel Venture Partners. “We believe in their mission to fix the browsing experience and are excited Brave is using the blockchain to better support publishers and pay users.”

Propel Venture Partners was formed in February by the team behind BBVA’s corporate fund BBVA Ventures.

With Brave, Propel’s US fund has invested in four seed rounds since its founding, including online car buying outfit Drive Motors, home insurance startup Hippo and online authentication firm Civic. Propel was also a lead investor in a Series A financing round for Guideline, an online 401 (k) platform.

Other investors in the Brave seed round include Peter Thiel's Founders Fund, Pantera Capital, Foundation Capital and Digital Currency Group.

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