Mozilla is doing well financially (2015)

Mozilla announced a major change in November 2014 in regards to the company’s main revenue stream.

The organization had a contract with Google in 2014 and before that had Google pay Mozilla money for being the default search engine in the Firefox web browser.

This deal was Mozilla’s main source of revenue, about 329 million US Dollars in 2014. The change saw Mozilla broker deals with search providers instead for certain regions of the world.

This meant a switch from Google Search as the default provider to Yahoo Search in the US, to Baidu in China, and to Yandex in Russia.

So, instead of brokering one deal with one company, and being completely dependent on that deal, Mozilla now had multiple sources of revenue.

Considering that Google is a direct competitor of Mozilla in the browser world, that move was also a strategic one.

Back in 2015, I stated that Mozilla would do well without Google financially. The organization released its financial statements for 2015 (PDF) yesterday, and they confirm that statement.

Mozilla Financials 2015

Mozilla’s revenue was $421 million US Dollars in 2015, a sharp increase from 2014’s $329 million US Dollars. Nearly all of it, $417 million US Dollars to be precise, come from royalty payments.

The financial report does not disclose actual deal numbers unfortunately. We don’t know how much Yahoo, Baidu or Yandex pay Mozilla to be the default Firefox search engine in select regions.

The majority of Mozilla revenue is from Firefox web browser search partnerships around the world. Mozilla’s work is also supported through grants and individual donations.

The annual report post of the Mozilla Foundation indicates that the company has brokered additional deals with companies such as Google and DuckDuckGo. According to the report, Mozilla has a total of 12 search partnerships in 2015 and 2016, and that next year’s financial report will show notable improvements as well.

The new search strategy diversified revenue sources for Mozilla. While some of this is evident in the 2015 financials, the improvement will be more notable in 2016.

The last sentence suggests that Mozilla’s revenue will increase even more than it did in 2015 thanks to additional search partnership deals which were not all reflected in the 2015 period.

Expenses have not risen nearly as much. Mozilla’s total expenses in 2014 were $317 million US Dollars, in 2015 $337 million US Dollars. The bulk of the additional expenses went into branding and marketing which rose from $40 million in 2014 to $59 million in 2015.

An increase of $20 million in expenses, and an increase of more than $90 million in revenue.

Mozilla’s net assets increased from $266 million to $323 million thanks to that.

Closing Words

Mozilla doing well financially is a good thing. Not only for users of Firefox, but also for the web community as a whole. It is the one major browser left standing between browsers maintained by large corporations.

With 2016 looking even better financially, it is fair to say that Mozilla won’t crash and burn any time soon.

You Might Also Like