Smart as its fox, Mozilla holds the helm


Although its Firefox browser is now largely overtaken by Google Chrome, Mozilla is holding firm. Last year, we relayed data from the foundation suggesting a slow decline in Mozilla Firefox usage.

But while the use of this browser is stagnating, when it comes to finances, Mozilla is showing positive results. Since Mozilla is a non-profit organization and not a publicly traded company, it does not publish its results quarterly.

Nevertheless, recently, Mozilla released its annual audited financial statements for the year 2021. And these show that the foundation is in very good financial health.

Mozilla announces good results

At a time when the internet giants are seeing their growth slow in 2022, Mozilla publishes these excellent results for the previous year. Last year, Mozilla Corporation generated $585 million in revenue, up 25% from 2020.

The foundation admits that the majority of this income still comes from partnerships with search engines (Mozilla is paid to promote search engines on its browser). And as a result, the foundation is still very dependent on Google.

The total royalties collected by Mozilla have increased from $441 million to $527 million in 2021. Since the number of users has not seen a particular increase, this suggests an increase in traffic. search on the Firefox browser, or that the foundation has negotiated higher rates on advertising revenue generated through its browser.

Growing and more diversified income

But the most important thing is that little by little, Mozilla is less and less dependent on these royalties paid by search engines, including Google. As part of diversifying its revenue, while promoting better privacy, Mozilla has launched a number of revenue-generating services.

Among the paid services, there is Mozilla’s VPN, or Pocket. And in 2021, these new foundation products generated $57 million in revenue, an increase of 125%.

“The vast majority of our revenue goes directly to the development of current or future products and a minimum of 2% of Company revenue is dedicated to the Foundation’s movement building programs, community investing and public engagement”, explains Mozilla. The “Company” is Mozilla Corporation, which is a subsidiary of the Mozilla Foundation.

In 2021, this foundation obtained $30.2 million, including $6.3 million in grants in addition to $20 million in revenue from the Mozilla Corporation.

Mozilla is less sensitive to the crisis

The results mentioned above relate to 2021, a very good year for digital players. For 2022, the foundation expects there to be an impact of the crisis on its future financial statements.

Quoted by TechCrunch, Steve Teixeira, product director of Mozilla, recognizes a slowdown in the market. Nevertheless, it evokes a slowdown in growth, not a decline.

“For us, as an unlisted company, it’s fine”, he assured. Unlike the digital giants, Mozilla does not have to manage the perception of its activity by the public and by the market. “[…] all we need is a great business to run and that makes us happy”he added.

When Mozilla becomes an investor

Mozilla currently has a vision for the next 25 years. And that vision includes investing in startups that align with its mission.

This November, the foundation formalized a $35 million fund, via a new entity called Mozilla Ventures. These funds will finance projects that are both viable, but also aligned with Mozilla’s values.

In summary, Mozilla wants to fund new projects similar to WordPress, ProtonMail, or KickStarter. “All create products and technologies that respect users and make the internet a healthier place”says the foundation.

Quoted by TechCrunch, Mitchell Baker, CEO of Mozilla, indicates that like other funds, Mozilla Ventures expects returns on these investments. However, unlike traditional investors, Mozilla can be more patient and make choices based on its values, not just profits.

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