January 24, 2021

Browser Extensions - The Next Crop of Superstar Tech co's and IPOs

Browser extensions have taken over the world.  They have quietly developed into powerful productivity tools, used by millions every day.  The first browser extension was allowed by IE, version 4 in 1999 and plug-ins were created around the same time.  Extensions are software modules that customize the web browsing experience while plug-ins are always on and executable.  The only plug-in to survive is Adobe Flash which is on its way out.  Meanwhile, extensions are literally the fastest growing software in the world.  It makes sense right?  We all love customization and extensions let you trick out your browser.  

Browsers are amazing - turning protocols into something you can interact with, showing images, and serve as the portal to the world wide web.  The browser is so ubiquitous that we often forget it’s there and that it’s the single piece of software that has revolutionized our planet.  

Autonomy and intelligence is the hallmark of the last 10 years of development across several categories.  When Elon Musk launched Tesla, no one said, oh jeeez, he is building on the back of cars.  Tesla did not invent rain-sensing windshield wipers or tires that communicate when low on air pressure.  Tesla assembled best in class technology, built on the platforms of other cars and a hundred years of manufacturing and development, including the electric engine, and added a key element - autonomy and intelligence.  

That is what users want, autonomy and intelligence, for AI to be cool and save us time and money.  Which is why the new crop of browser extensions are AI driven and focused on productivity! 

Let’s look at a few browser extensions.  These are all tools that extend functionality and add time or money savings:

  • Honey, doesn’t offer deals just makes finding deals easier, sold to PayPal for $4BN with 10MM downloads


  • Calendly - 20MM users in 2020, sits on top of existing calendars, not a calendar, makes scheduling calendars better


  • Grammerly, 10MM downloads, 6.9MM DAU’s does not create content, makes written content better


  • Super Human, just raised $33MM series B, one of the fastest growing start ups backed by A. Horrowitz, a premium email client/work flow tool that sits on top of Gmail. 


  • Last pass - 25MM users and deals with the MOST sensitive data - passwords - is a browser extension! 


Many of these companies will follow Air BnB, Door Dash and others to massive exits and IPO’s.  They have quietly revolutionized our work and unfortunately have a clunky name.  Either way, they are used by millions of people everyday. 


Custom Social is launching our own marketing tool in a browser extension called ARROW, using AI as a recommendation engine for advertising variables like who, what, when. Our mission is to save time and money for the millions of people working on behalf of tens of millions of brands who are advertising online every day. Check us out here and get ready to join the D2C revolution!

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