Case Study: Brave

Lessons from the ICO that raised 36 $ million in less than 1 minute

Brave: the company provides blockchain-based digital advertising for advertisers, users and publishers
Symbol: BAT
Crowdsale period:  June 31, 2017 – June 31, 2017. Crowdsale period lasted less than 1 minute
Funds raised: approх. $36,000,000 USD (156,250 ETH). The amount was raised in 25 seconds (2 ethereum blocks).
Country: San Francisco, California, USA
Native token: Basic Attention Token, or BAT. ERC20 token built on top of Ethereum
Time: investment history details are missing. The project was announced in May 2017, Brave company was founded in 2015.

Team:  the team has 12 members with an extremely strong professional background.  The CEO of the company is Brendan Eich, known as the creator of the JavaScript language. He was the co-founder and CTO of Mozilla & Firefox. Brave’s co-founder is Brian Bondy, he previously worked for Khan Academy and Mozilla Corporation. Yan Zhu is responsible for Security & Privacy Engineering in Brave, in the past she has been working for Yahoo and Tor Project.

Brave has 4 advisors.  The list of the advisory board includes Greg Badros, Angel investor and former engineering director at Facebook and Google, Zooko Wilcox The Zcash Company Least Authority, previously worked in Mojo Nation, DigiCash, and Ankur Nanwani, known for working as Product engineer at Coinbase.

About the project:

Brave is a browser that is aimed at connecting publishers, users and advertisers in one marketplace. The browser was developed for placing advertisements, Brave’s users will get rewards for viewing ads. The browser will cut out third parties so that users pay BAT to publishers based on how long they browse and read a page. Brave itself will take a percentage of these earnings.

Brave’s mission is to make advertising smart and valuable for all parties. The BAT tokens will be paid to publishers for launching ad campaigns. Users will view only relevant advertisement, and get rewarded with BATs. They can use tokens for receiving premium services of the browser. Publishers will be rewarded with tokens for delivering a high quality content that is really interesting for users.


The first important feature of the project is the BAT wallet specially integrated in the Brave browser. The wallet with BAT’s will be ERC20 compatible only.

The second feature of Brave are the scoring algorithms developed for measuring user attention. The browser’s In-device machine learning will match relevant ads to content.

The third important feature of Brave is it’s privacy-focused browser that blocks invasive ads and trackers. It uses anonize algorithm to protect privacy. The payment system will be based on Zero Knowledge Proof system protecting individual user anonymity from third parties.

The fourth important feature is Brave’s is the project’s open source technology. The founders published the BAT open code on GitHub in order to create a new ecosystem and business model for publishers and advertisers.

Brave ICO features:

Though Brave is offering a new business model for advertisers and publishers, it still remains just a browser. Brave’s main competitor is Google. Google is the giant of the existing advertising ecosystem. Brave can overcome Google only after complete launch of the user reward system. Brave has a strong competitor in the blockchain world too – Steem – a blockchain-based social media and blogging platform.  Steem provides rewards for content creation, while Brave gives rewards for user attention.

Why did Brave raise 36$ million in less than a minute in spite having the strongest digital competitors?

  1. Brave’s browser was operating before the launch of the ICO, developers only needed to finalize the BAT wallet.
  2. The team of the project is highly professional: Brave is a company with over 20 experienced engineers and credible founders.
  3. The project received investments from approx. 130 people. They hold around 95% of all BAT tokens. One investor has bought BAT’s worth $4.6 million (20,000 ETH worth). The founders of the project managed to attract support of the biggest investing funds, including Founders Fund, Foundation Capital, Propel Venture Partners, Pantera Capital, DCG, Danhua Capital, and Huiyin Blockchain Venture among others.
  4. The token sale was transparent and the token sale code was published openly. Brave provided participants with strong guarantees: contributors received BAT’s immediately and the tokens were transferable from the start.