Propel Venture Partners today announced its investment in a $4.5 million seed round for Brave Software, a startup reinventing the browser as a user platform for speed, privacy and micropayments. The investment is the second in as many weeks for Propel, the independent venture capital firm in which BBVA is the sole limited partner. Propel recently announced it was the lead investor in a Series A round for Guideline, an online 401 (k) platform in the U.S.
"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,” said 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 an ad model that shares revenue with users and publishers. To provide wallets and purchasing tools for the Brave Ledger, Brave is partnering with BitGo and Coinbase.
"We are proud to partner with Brave,” said 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 venture fund BBVA Ventures with the goal of supporting and profiting from the change in financial services brought about by technology. The fund is a Small Business Investment Corporation (SBIC), which allows it greater flexibility in investing.
With Brave, Propel’s U.S. fund has invested in four seed rounds since its founding. It is an investor in Drive Motors, software for car dealerships that allows customers to buy their car online and then collect from the showroom, Hippo, online home insurance for first time home buyers, and Civic, a provider of online identity protection where a free consumer service is paid for by businesses relying on secure and reliable identity authentication. Propel was also a lead investor in a Series A financing round for Guideline, an online 401 (k) platform.