Mozilla posts 2009 revenue surge: Google diversification issue remains

Summary:Mozilla filed its 2009 audited annual report and revenue surged to $104 million, up 34 percent from a year ago. The big question is whether Mozilla can---or needs to---diversify its revenue away from Google.

Mozilla filed its 2009 audited annual report and revenue surged to $104 million, up 34 percent from a year ago. The big question is whether Mozilla can---or needs to---diversify its revenue away from Google.

The state of Mozilla's financials is healthy. In brief:

  • Mozilla had revenue of $104.3 million for 2009, up from $77.7 million in 2008 (pdf).
  • Mozilla had an investment loss of $104,000 in 2009 compared to an investment loss of $7.8 million in 2009.
  • The company had 250 employees.
  • Most of its revenue is generated from its search box and payments from the likes of "Google, Yahoo, Yandex, Amazon, eBay and a handful of others."

The problem: The risk is that one contract accounts for most of its revenue. Mozilla didn't name Google, but it's clear how lucrative that little search box is. Mozilla says in its statement of risk:

The Corporation has a contract with a search engine provider for royalties which expires in November 2011. Approximately 86% and 91% of royalties revenue for 2009 and 2008, respectively, was derived from this contract. The receivable from this search engine provider represented 71 percent and 80 percent of the December 31, 2009 and 2008 outstanding receivables, respectively.

And it's possible that Yahoo won't be much of a search contributor given its search pact with Microsoft.

Mozilla's problem is the same as it has been in previous years---it's too reliant on Google. Now Google will continue to back Mozilla at least until Chrome grabs more share. Microsoft's Internet Explorer will continue to have Bing as the default search.

Topics: Enterprise Software, Banking, Browser, Google

About

Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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