A chrome extension is a small software program that allows you to customize the way your web browser works. Extensions can add new features to your browser or change the way existing features work.
If you have skills in programming and coding, you can create your own chrome extension and then sell it on the Chrome Web Store. You can also offer it for free and generate revenue through advertising. This is a great way to leverage your skills and create a business that can be profitable.
There are many different types of chrome extensions that you can create. You can create an extension that helps people with their productivity, or you can create an extension that provides security for the user's data.
Building a chrome extension is a great way to start your own business as a programmer, developer, or coder. This is a unique way to leverage your skills in order to create something new and innovative.
Here are some real life success stories of starting a chrome extension:
1. COLDINBOX ($420K/year)
Arthur Backouche (from Sydney, New South Wales, Australia) started COLDINBOX over 2 years ago.
Hello Starter Story readers! Mohamed Hassen Mami and I, Arthur Backouche, built an amazing tool to send bulk invitations on Linkedin with Personalized messages: Coldinbox.
- On my side, I’m a Digital Marketing Manager based in Sydney, Australia, and my journey is to evangelizing brands on the Internet.
2. GMass, Inc. ($5.4M/year)
Ajay Goel (from Dayton, Ohio, USA) started GMass, Inc. about 7 years ago.
I’m Ajay! I created GMass, a platform to send cold emails and email marketing campaigns with Gmail. It works as a Chrome extension. Most of our customers are entrepreneurs and salespeople, but our customers really run the gamut from super small to the biggest tech companies in the world. Almost every major tech company you can think of uses GMass in some way, including Uber, Lyft, LinkedIn, Twitter, Indeed, Google, Salesforce.com, and Snapchat. Since I launched GMass in 2015, we’ve had over 500,000 user signups.
3. Gikken ($224K/year)
Alex Chernikov (from Berlin, Germany) started Gikken ago.
I’m Alex, the co-founder and CEO of Gikken /'gɪk ən/. We made a few apps and browser extensions used by 800,000 people every month. We’re (yet) small, profitable, and based in Europe’s most interesting city—Berlin, Germany.
We’re making around $18,000 a month with it being higher in school months and lower during the summer months. You may ask, “Why so little if you have so many users?” and that’d be a totally valid question that I’m also asking myself. Monetizing our existing user base better is our top 1 priority for the next year.
4. Browserless ($120K/year)
Joel Griffith (from Portland, Oregon, USA) started Browserless almost 5 years ago.
Hey folks! I’m Joel Griffith, founder and sole entrepreneur for a business called browserless.
I’ve been building the company over the last two years, and this September we did about $28,000 in sales.
5. CrankWheel ($374K/year)
Jói Sigurdsson (from Reykjavik, Iceland) started CrankWheel over 7 years ago.
I’m Jói Sigurdsson, an Icelandic entrepreneur and founder of CrankWheel. I spent 10 years at Google leading technical teams on projects such as Google Desktop and Chrome, and the rest of my 20-something year career has been spent “doing startups” as an early employee, CTO, or co-founder.
CrankWheel won the “best B2B SaaS startup” pitching competition at SaaStock last October
6. T.LY ($31.2K/year)
Tim Leland (from ) started T.LY about 3 years ago.
Hi, my name is Tim Leland, and I am the creator of a simple URL shortener and link management tool, T.LY.
Currently, T.LY has over 8 million short URLs and has tracked over 80 million clicks. The Link Shortener extension has over 350,000 active users. T.LY is an affordable alternative that has thousands of users and is currently making over $2,600 a month.
7. SkyVerge, Inc. ($4.2M/year)
Max Rice (from Remote, Oregon, USA) started SkyVerge, Inc. over 9 years ago.
Hi all, my name is Max Rice, and I’m the co-founder and CEO of SkyVerge, where we build software tools that help over 100,000 eCommerce brands manage and grow their online stores. Our customers are mostly small to medium-sized businesses in all kinds of verticals.
My co-founder Justin Stern and I started SkyVerge in 2013 and we’re a globally distributed team of over 30 people, with revenue of $350,000 per month.
8. Fantôm Agency ($300K/year)
Luis Camacho (from Phoenix, Arizona, USA) started Fantôm Agency over 4 years ago.
Hello, my name is Luis Camacho and I am the founder of Fantôm Agency and also the host of the SaaS AdLab podcast, which is a podcast where I interview SaaS founders to learn more about their story. Fantôm is a digital advertising agency which focuses on helping mid-to-late stage SaaS (software as a service) companies scale through paid advertising channels such as Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
Fantôm focuses entirely on paid advertising, I guess you could say that’s the bread and butter, it’s what I’m great at but it’s also what I’m most passionate about. There were attempts to enter different service offerings but did not have as much fun doing so. Now when clients have the need for other types of marketing, say, email marketing, I point them to one of my trusted partners who are able to execute and over-deliver on such service for them. Currently, Fantôm is making roughly $8,600 per month overhead is only a couple of hundred dollars per month, about $300, which go towards tools and software needed in order to provide the best possible results for clients.
9. Write.as ($34.8K/year)
Matt Baer (from Washington D.C., Washington, D.C., USA) started Write.as over 7 years ago.
Hi! I’m Matt Baer, founder of Write.as. We make digital tools that help creative people get their work online, from words to visual art. What we’re most after is building usable software that doesn’t kill your creative ideas (as notifications, feeds, and “likes” tend to do), to encourage free expression by giving you better privacy, and to make digital expression accessible to everyone.
Beyond our flagship tool, we’re building Snap.as, a minimal tool for sharing photos and galleries, and Submit.as, a submission management system made just for written content. Both of these products work perfectly with Write.as but are also useful on their own. Ultimately, this is what we’re building -- a suite of integrated apps that all share the same principles of simplicity, privacy, and respect for the user.
10. OneUp ($120K/year)
Davis Baer (from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA) started OneUp over 6 years ago.
My name is Davis Baer, and I am the co-founder of OneUp, a social media scheduling tool that helps business make more money and automates time-consuming tasks. OneUp allows you to schedule Google My Business posts, Facebook posts, Instagram posts, Twitter posts (and schedule Twitter threads), as well as schedule LinkedIn posts.
- We have bloggers who create evergreen blog posts (meaning those posts will still be relevant months and years down the road). Before, they would share it once on social media, then just hope that SEO would bring them ongoing traffic. Now, they set their blog posts to repeat every few months, resurfacing the content for anyone who missed it before, and giving it another chance to be shared and take off.
11. BuyLo ($120/year)
Ju Li (from Boston, MA, USA) started BuyLo over 1 year ago.
Hi! My name is Ju Li and I am a co-founder of GetBuyLo.com. We’ve built a browser extension that’s like Honey but specifically tailored for flights. Basically, when you are at checkout on a supported flight booking site, it will automatically pop up and scan other flight booking sites for a lower price on the same flight.
We are not profitable at the moment as we launched during the COVID pandemic but early users are loving it. We’ve been featured in YCombinator’s Startup School newsletter and the front page of multiple subreddits.
12. RatePunk ($2.4K/year)
Justin (from Vilnius, Lithuania) started RatePunk 8 months ago.
Hi, startuppers! My name is Justinas Albertynas - I’m one of the founders of our travel-tech startup and my beloved product, a browser extension named RatePunk. It’s a tool that compares hotel prices on different booking websites live & for free. It’s available to install on 5 main browsers: Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera & Edge, and we connected the 9 biggest OTAs into one system. It shows the cheapest option in seconds, helping the user not to waste more than necessary and better splash it on the fun during vacation, not on accommodation.
The beginning was unexpectedly challenging for our team - we barely collected the first 500 users in almost half a year, but… we hit more than 3000 less than a few weeks after that & got into the TOPS of Apple Store in the US, the UK, and in our home country - Lithuania. Statistics show that only around 13% of browser extensions on Chrome Store have more than 1k users, and we feel a bit special already!
13. Honey ($100M/year)
Honey makes money from affiliate commissions that it earns for every coupon that is redeemed via its extension.
George Ruan and Ryan Hudson (from Los Angeles, CA, USA) started Honey almost 11 years ago.
Honey is a browser plugin created by George Ruan and Ryan Hudson that automatically searches the web for the greatest prices for its customers.
The business collaborates with more than 30,000 shops in a variety of markets, including fashion, electronics, travel, and others.
Honey receives affiliate revenue for each coupon that is used with its extension, which is how the company generates money.
Honey, a Los Angeles-based company that was founded in 2012, has established itself as a prominent competitor in the browser extension market. The firm was purchased by PayPal in late 2019 for $4 billion in cash, making it LA's greatest tech departure to date.
When Hudson attempted to order pizza for himself and his children, the concept of Honey first came to him. He looked all over the internet for a good coupon, but he couldn't locate anything.
Within six weeks, Hudson and Ruan, who invested $50,000 each in the company, had created the first functional prototype.
Read the full story on productmint.com ➜
14. Grammarly ($208M/year)
Grammarly makes money using a freemium model to sell premium writing subscriptions to three different customer segments: individual users, businesses, and educational institutions. Apart from selling premium writing subscriptions, the company also generates some revenue by selling its human proofreading service.
Max Lytvyn, Dmytro Lider, and Alex Shevchenko (from San Francisco, California, USA) started Grammarly almost 14 years ago.
In order to provide individuals and businesses with unrivaled, market-leading communication support, Max Lytvyn, Dmytro Lider, and Alex Shevchenko founded Grammarly in 2009. This company combines technological approaches with human expertise.
Grammarly's goal is to make people's lives better by fostering better communication. Every day, 30 million people and 50,000 teams use this writing assistance technology.
The trio had previously collaborated on My Dropbox, a plagiarism detector startup founded by Lytvyn and Shevchenko.
The creation of writing software has been a recurrent theme for Grammarly's founders, and it all began as a side project while they were students at International Christian University in Kyiv.
It raised $200 million in November 2021 from investors including Baillie Gifford and BlackRock at a valuation of $13 billion.
Grammarly is a member of the Forbes Cloud 100, one of Inc.'s Best Workplaces, one of Fast Company's Most Innovative AI Companies, and one of TIME's 100 Most Influential Companies.
Read the full story on forbes.com ➜
15. Closet Tools ($456K/year)
In the podcasst episode, we talk about how he developed the skills to build a $38,000/month SaaS business all on his own, and the importance of understanding that not only can your business help people, but it has to in order to succeed.
Jordan O'Connor (from New York, NY, United States) started Closet Tools over 4 years ago.
Closet Tools, a web application that saves time and increases sales for Poshmark vendors, was founded by Jordan O'Connor.
To stay visible on Poshmark, the automated company engages in randomized sharing, CAPTCHA solving, and auto-following.
His path is from having a lot of debt and college debts to developing skills through assisting others, then using those talents to start a firm that generates more than $38k in monthly revenue.
Later, he posted on the Poshmark subreddit and garnered the attention of a few hundred people. O'Connor also began sanding his technological abilities by enrolling in SEO classes and studying on Udemy.
Listen to the full podcast on podcasts.apple.com ➜
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