AMA with Holli Bohren

by | Mar 28, 2019 | AMA, Community

Welcome to the fourteenth post in our series of BAT Community-run AMAs.

The ongoing AMA series on Reddit is an eight-month-long event that features various guests from the Brave and BAT teams. The goal of the series is twofold: to give fans of the project an opportunity to interact directly with team members, and to give team members—especially those who operate largely behind the scenes—a chance to share their insights and offer the community a window into their work.

The most recent AMA took place on March 27th and featured Holli Bohren, Brave’s Chief Financial Officer. Holli fielded both pre-submitted and live questions from Redditors concerning a variety of topics, like what a “successful exit” looks like in her view, whether Brave employees’ salaries are paid in BAT, and how the company plans to use the BAT generated as revenue from its advertising platform. In between demonstrations of her prowess as a financier, Holli shared tidbits about her personal life: she is a self-professed reading addict who enjoys listening to whatever music her teenage kids are into at the moment.

Highlights can be found below, with a link to the full AMA at the bottom of this post.

The next AMA will take place on Wednesday, April 10th, and will feature Jan Piotrowski, Brad Flora, and Des Martin from the Business Development team.

For the full list of upcoming BAT Community AMAs through May 2019, see below.

Hi Holli, thanks for doing this! A couple of questions: What is Brave doing to stay competitive in luring top talent? What lured you to Brave?

I saw a fantastic management team in a very interesting space, with potential for rapid growth. I've specialized in high growth, early stage companies my whole career.

Can you define what a "successful exit" is? And what is Brave’s "successful exit"? P.s If the exit strategy involves the bat ecosystem being developed to a certain point, what point would that be? What metrics would you use? In the previous backed firms you assisted in achieving an exit strategy, what duration of time was your involvement? Thanks.

A successful exit returns all funds to all investors with plenty left over for common shareholders. In a successful exit, employees’ earnings from their equity are equal to or greater than what would be considered very large bonuses for their role, for every year of employment. In other words, materially more than the employee would make based on salary and regular bonuses alone.

I have worked with companies on successful exits from inception to exit in as little as 18 months a couple of times, and up to 4-5 years on the long end. Venture capitalists invest through funds with 10 year lives, reflecting the expectation that the company will not exit within just a few years. A successful exit as defined within less than 5-6 years is extremely unusual. It is also extremely unusual to have a successful exit in a private company without multiple rounds of funding. Additional funding does not imply lower returns. It implies continuing investor confidence and supports growth. The broader and more complex the scope of the product, the longer it is likely to take.

In Brave’s case, it is unlikely a buyer would overlook the BAT ecosystem and the UGP, and any exit involving an acquisition would (by design) bind the acquirer to Brave's brand values and to BAT's economics going to large scale. Any dismal exit would not be good for either equity investor or BAT holders. Go big or go home!

I know from reading the FAQ on the website that the team is very against calling [BAT] a currency or a security. It’d be insane to think the team isn’t planning on an iTunes/Play Store competitor for books, movies and music. Do you see that incorporation as a challenge? Is that somewhere in the roadmap?

BAT is a utility token, defined to account for human attention first and foremost. Brave supports it as part of the BAT platform. We will add support for other digital assets and make them usable by average folks, for all kinds of ecommerce.

Can you say how much of the UGP has been distributed and how much remains? Is Brave on track to have sufficient UGP to carry the project all the way through the formal launch of ads/mobile/sync/sdk?

Brave has a large UGP (300M) sufficient to fund well beyond the launch of ads. The sale structure including genesis block structure was publicized on https://basicattentiontoken.org in blog posts, and then made public via smart contracts on Ethereum. The Public ledger is public.

What percentage of employees take part or all of their salary in BAT? Thanks.

None of the employees are paid in BAT in lieu of salary.

Hi Holli, what are some of your hobbies and interests outside of work? For example, what kind of music do you enjoy?

I'm a reading addict, and I listen to whatever music my 13 and 14 year old kids are into.

Crunchbase lists 2 small seed rounds in years prior to the token launch. Have these investors been paid out or are they expecting Series A, B, C funding to increase their returns?

Venture investors and angels rarely get bought out. Instead, they expect future rounds to be accretive, meaning the value added makes the smaller piece of the bigger pie worth more than the bigger piece of the smaller pie. Investors in most startups including Brave would generally expect to see successive rounds of financing until an eventual sale or IPO. IPOs are quite rare. Many companies file for an IPO as a way to attract a buyer, and exit without ever going public. The odds of going public for any startup are very low, but that does not mean the odds of a successful exit are low for Brave. Most successful exits with good returns to employees are sales. (Note that Crunchbase is not always complete.)

Once Brave starts generating revenue, what will it do with the tokens? Hold or sell back into the market? Use to promote the ecosystem (similar to how UGP used now)?

We will be doing a combination of those three things.

Hi Holli, did the VCs that invested in Brave Ltd receive tokens or just equity? What is the desired exit strategy for these VCs? Sale of appreciated tokes (if they hold some)? Buy out from larger corporations (eg: Google)? Other...

The VCs did not receive tokens, just equity, as BAT is a utility token.

Are you hiring in finance/accounting?

Yes we are looking for a G/L accountant who will take on payroll for now, and ultimately need another staff person in HR due to the demands of employees, contractors and companies in multiple countries. Please visit https://brave.com/jobs for job postings!

Read the full AMA here.

Read Ben Livshits’ AMA from February 20th here.  

Follow the BAT Community’s Updates here: https://www.reddit.com/r/BATProject/

Upcoming BAT Community AMAs:

April 2019

Jan Piotrowski, Brad Flora, and Des Martin, Business Development

Jimmy Secretan, VP of Services & Operations

May 2019

Marshall Rose, Principal Engineer

Catherine Corre, Head of Communications

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