Brave Browser makers are working on their own search engine based on Tailcat

Brave has acquired Tailcat and is working on its own, privacy-friendly search engine. According to the developers, Brave Search is focused on privacy and transparency. It is not clear when the search engine will be available.

The Tailcat search engine will form the basis for Brave Search, the company reports in a blog post. Tailcat was also an open source search engine, in the works by the former development team behind the Cliqz privacy browser and search engine, which were discontinued in 2020. The Tailcat team will be transferred to Brave as part of the acquisition. The company does not disclose the amount involved in the acquisition of Tailcat

With the upcoming search engine, Brave says it wants to offer a privacy-friendly alternative to search engines such as Google. “The Tailcat search engine is built on top of a completely independent index, capable of delivering the quality people expect but without compromising their privacy,” the company claims in a press release. The search engine does not collect IP addresses, according to Brave, and does not use “personally identifiable information” to improve search results.

Brave Search is not yet available. The company puts a waiting list on its website, which allows users to register for early access to the search engine. Brave will not announce when the first early access period will start or when Brave Search will be available to everyone. The search engine will work with the Brave Browser, among other things, although users of that web browser can also set other default search engines.

The company says it plans to release Brave Search with a paid ad-free version and a free version with ads. “While there is a group of users who have long wanted a premium, ad-free search experience, others prefer a free, ad-funded model.” Brave states that ‘offering a choice is best’ and that showing Brave Ads is an option. In an early access survey, the company asks respondents whether they’re willing to pay for an ad-free search engine, and how much, if any, they’d be willing to pay for it.