Brave, the renowned crypto-powered privacy browser, has been quietly dispelling speculation around the notion that it will be acquired by Facebook or another large company. The discussion was sparked last week when Brave CFO Holli Bohren was asked about the possibility of selling the company.
During a community AMA session, one commenter asked Bohren what a “successful exit” would look like—that is, what would happen if another company were to buy Brave. Bohren replied that she has worked on successful exits in the past, and said that an acquisition would preserve Brave’s values. She wrote:
“In Brave’s case, it is unlikely a buyer would overlook the BAT ecosystem … and any exit involving an acquisition would (by design) bind the acquirer to Brave’s brand values and to BAT’s economics going to large scale … Go big or go home!”
Eich Would Say No To Facebook
That statement doesn’t mean that Brave is being sold, but it isn’t exactly a condemnation of the idea, either. Bohren’s answer quickly prompted a response on Twitter, where one user congratulated Brave on its acquisition by Facebook—seemingly as a joke. Brave CEO Brendan Eich laughed and said he “wouldn’t hold his breath.”
Eich alluded to several of Facebook’s recent decisions as reasons that he wouldn’t sell out to the social media giant. In particular, Eich mentioned Facebook’s poorly-handled WhatsApp acquisition, the company’s “secret blockchain team,” and an end-to-end encryption system that doesn’t protect metadata—all with great disapproval.
Another user noted that Facebook probably wouldn’t respect Brave’s principles or privacy values. Eich replied by suggesting an alternate possibility: “how about Apple or Mozilla … depending on terms, of course.” However, Eich was probably feeling out user sentiment, not suggesting those acquisitions as a real possibility.
Could Brave Be Acquired?
Speculation concerning buyouts is commonplace, but it is somewhat surprising that Brave isn’t vehemently denying any rumors. Perhaps it will do so if the rumors gain traction beyond a few discussion threads. But for now, Brave seems perfectly willing to gauge the community’s reaction to the idea.
The acquisition of Brave by another company isn’t out of the question. However, if that were to happen, it probably wouldn’t happen any time soon. Bohren’s initial statement emphasized that a successful exit “within less than 5-6 years is extremely unusual,” noting that more complex products require longer exits.
In the meantime, Brave has more important things on its plate. The company is preparing to launch user ad rewards in the main version of its browser, and its partners are hinting that a gift card reward system is on the way. Brave will, without a doubt, continue to act as its own company while these events take place.
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