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Mozilla's 2009 revenue increases 34 percent

The Firefox developer reveals its 2009 financial details, including $104 million in revenue largely from search partnerships. Also: 400 million people use Firefox.

Mozilla touts its influence numerically.
Mozilla touts its influence numerically. Mozilla

Mozilla, maker of the Firefox Web browser, saw its 2009 revenue increase 34 percent from $78 million the year before to $104 million.

The organization's source of money continues to be from search partnerships, it said in its 2009 annual report, released today. The top billing goes to Google, no doubt, though Mozilla didn't break out a specific percentage and instead lumped the search giant's revenue in with Yahoo, Yandex, Amazon, and eBay.

Mozilla's contract with Google, renewed in 2008 and running through 2011, returns a portion of Google search-ad revenue to the browser maker. Mozilla drives search traffic to Google through its built-in search box. And though Google now has its own Chrome browser to promote, Mozilla indicated it's happy with the financial idea in general.

"We believe that search providers will remain a solid generator of revenue for Mozilla for the foreseeable future," Mozilla said in a FAQ.

Expenses--employees and computer equipment, mostly--also increased, from $49 million in 2009 to $61 million in 2009. Mozilla, though isn't a business (read about its tanglings with the Internal Revenue Service in the auditor's report PDF), but rather an organization with a mission: "Mozilla exists to build individual empowerment, control, and opportunity into the fabric of the Internet," Chairman Mitchell Baker said. She added this assessment:

Mozilla is the underdog in our efforts to build participation and empowerment into the Internet. It's a big challenge to build our values into layers of the Internet where the commercial giants of our age are battling it out. Mozilla has always faced this kind of challenge. We started in an era when everyone "knew" our goals were impossible because Microsoft was invincible. Today, Mozilla is stronger than ever. Our opportunity to bring openness and choice to new aspects of the online experience is unprecedented.

More specifically, Mozilla said there are now more than 400 million Firefox users, 140 million of them daily, and that it's expanding with initiatives such as mobile Firefox.