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Firefox (Mozilla Corporation/Mozilla Foundation) made $72M last year?!


UPDATE: I know a lot of folks are coming here from DIGG and other memetrackers. The $72M someone told me at BarCampLA and I have no idea if that is true or not. If you reblog this (or report it) please make sure you make that clear.

The best piece of information I got out of BarCampLA was that Firefox, which is produced by the for-profit Mozilla Corporation, made $72M last year and is on target to have 120 employees this year. I have no idea if this is true (anyone?), but it makes sense. I mean, there have to be 72M people using Firefox out there, and making $1 a year seems low to me! Mark Pincus brought this topic up recently.

Mozilla Corporation makes all that money because of the Google Search box on the top right. If you search with that box (which I do all day long) and you click on the Google ads on the results page Firefox gets ~80% of that. They also have Amazon in the search box, and other services that I’m sure kick them back some affiliate fees. Brilliant.

What an amazing business: make a kick-ass browser for $10-15M a year in expense and make $72M (and growing) in revenue. It’s such a good business that the folks at Flock.com are trying to do a similar thing by building a wrapper with value-added services (like bookmarking tools) on top of Firefox.

Did you know that you could take the Firefox code and make your own Browser?! I think I want to make the “Jason Browser,” anyone out there know how to do this? I’m serious, I want to put a wrapper around Firefox with a bunch of Jason-specific services. Hit me on email (jason at calacanis dot com).

For background, the for profit Mozilla.com company is a spinout of the non-profit Mozilla Foundation. From what I’ve read all the profits from the for profit Mozilla flow into the non-profit Mozilla foundation. No idea why they had to create this type of structure but I heard an interview with Mitchell Baker who explained that there is nothing nefarious going on. She says all the IP is still owned by Mozilla Foundation and no one can ever make money off of Mozilla.com (I wonder if the folks who work at Mozilla.com get stock options, or if the company would ever go public?). Frankly, there are so many great people working at/associated with Mozilla so I’m sure it’s all good.

More details on Mozilla at Wikipedia:
Mozilla Foundation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mozilla_Foundation
Mozilla Corporation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mozilla_Corporation

  • http://blog.sciambola.org/2009/01/falsi-miti-di-firefox/ » I falsi miti di Firefox Sciambola!

    [...] Corporation, made $72 Million last year and is on target to have 120 employees this year.” – Source – Source [...]

  • http://www.kiamo.co.uk/?p=130 Where does Mozilla get its money from? | Coffee stains and Ink spills

    [...] written about the amount of money that the Mozilla Foundation has raised through various means. This entry says “72 million” and has been repeated over on digg.com. I won’t comment on the dollar [...]

  • http://www.qweb-studio.com Alex

    I think i will make my own browser to)I think this year Google
    Chrom will take Mozilla’s place as the best alternative

  • http://penkapp.com/2007/12/23/donate-mozilla-foundation/ Donate to the Mozilla Foundation « penkapp.com

    [...] Firefox development. Interesting. The Mozilla Corporation’s bread-winner, Firefox, receives most of its income from the Google and Amazon search box displayed in the top right corner of the browser. Feel free [...]

  • http://filefreak.info http://topmp3.info

    WOW dint know firefox had profits behind them :D

English Bulldog

Hello, my name is Jason. Welcome to my blog on the interwebs. You can reach me on twitter @jason and by email at jason@inside.com. My Skype is jasoncalacanis, and my mobile phone is 310-456-4900.

I only pick up numbers I recognize, and in terms of emailing me, the best strategy is to write short, blunt and to the point requests. I can quickly respond to short messages, and many times I simply don't have the time to read five page pitches. In terms of taking meetings, I only do that after reviewing an actual product (not a business plan). So, the best time to ping me is when you have mockups or an alpha site. I don't read business plans, and I've never written one.

Other twitter accounts you can follow: Inside.com, Ticker, This Week in Startups and LAUNCH Festival