Chrome extensions are helpful tools that add functionality and features to your browser. They are small bits of code that run in the background and perform certain actions.
Chrome extensions are easy to create and low-cost and there are many ways to monetize them.
Here are some real life success stories of starting a chrome extension building business:
1. Micro SaaS Founder - Rick Blyth ($120K/year)
Rick Blyth (from Manchester, UK) started Micro SaaS Founder - Rick Blyth about 4 years ago.
Hi, my name is Rick Blyth and I am the founder of the Merch Wizard & KDP Wizard chrome extensions which I developed for niche Amazon sellers.
Eventually, I will be diving back into building a bigger Micro SaaS app utilizing everything that I’ve learned and with a much bigger exit in mind. For the time being though, my focus is on sharing the knowledge I’ve gained over the past few years of going it alone and inspiring others to take their first steps.
2. Station ($120K/year)
Julien founded Station, a unified search for teams. They pivoted from building a browser and now are in beta with 100 teams and +50k users on the waitlist.
Julien Berthomier (from Paris, France) started Station ago.
I’m Julien, co-founder, and CEO of Station, based between Lisbon and Paris. We are building a unified search for teams.
It’s a browser extension that automatically organizes all of the important resources and knowledge that a team shares across their SaaS applications. We make it incredibly fast to find information and easy to stay up to date with what your team is working on.
3. GMass, Inc. ($5.4M/year)
Ajay Goel (from Dayton, Ohio, USA) started GMass, Inc. almost 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. 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 ago.
The idea for Honey originated when Hudson tried ordering pizza for him and his kids. He scoured the internet for a suitable coupon but wasn’t able to find any suitable offer.
Hudson and Ruan each put $50,000 into the business and developed the first working prototype within six weeks. The app’s launch wasn’t as sweet as honey, though.
11. Grammarly ($73.2M/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.
Alex Shevchenko & Max Lytvyn (from San Francisco, CA, USA) started Grammarly ago.
12 years since being founded in 2009, Grammarly has more than 30 Million daily active users, over 10 Million downloads of its chrome extension, and 30,000+ institution and enterprise clients.
And all this for a company that did not raise its first round of funding worth $110 Million until its eighth year of operation.
12. 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 Rochester, NY, USA) started Closet Tools ago.
Jordan O'Connor, Closet Tools founder, is one of the more successful solo founders. Let's dive into the mechanics of how his business works. In addition to that, one of the recurring themes that came up during the conversation was how important it is to realize that as a founder, not only can your business help people, but your business has to help people if you want to have any shot at succeeding.
13. 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.
14. 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.
15. 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.
16. SuperJack ($1.4K/year)
Omari Harebin (from Bridgeport) started SuperJack over 1 year ago.
Hey, I’m Omari Harebin. Founder of SuperJack, a Squarespace extension for eCommerce owners. I just launched 30 days ago and it’s currently at $117 MRR.
17. 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.
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