Qikfox isn’t your average browser. Not only has it been built to protect consumers from the proliferation of online scams, but it’s also on a mission to democratize content publishing and bring it to the masses.
Qikfox, which has already raised seed capital from longtime venture investor Tim Draper and is exhibiting at TechCrunch’s Startup Alley this week, first started life as a browser extension. It has since morphed into a full-fledged premium browser that comes complete with its own search engine, built-in antivirus and the “world’s first” browser-based decentralized identity system.
“The motivation behind the product was that internet browsers are not taking ownership of what they are serving the consumers,” Tarun Gaur, founder and CEO of Qikfox told TechCrunch. “They are hosting a buffet of 4 billion web pages, and the internet was not conceived for this deluge of content.
“Other internet browsers are focused on either the developer or primarily on privacy. However, you cannot solve privacy if you don’t first solve safety and security.”
The idea for Qikfox came after Gaur’s tech-savvy mother fell victim to an online scam after clicking on a fake advertisement hosted on Google. To ensure the growing boomer population doesn’t follow suit, Qikfox employs 78 different signals that are able to ascertain if online businesses are legitimate.
“Our browser is able to identify these websites and blocks you from accessing them,” Gaur says. “It’s almost impossible for a consumer to get scammed.”
This, combined with its built-in antivirus system that not only scans and protects the browser but also the users’ entire system, makes Qikfox the safest browser on the market, according to Gaur. “Benchmarks show that we completely beat our competitors hands-down on privacy and security,” he claims.
Gaur, who previously founded Tringapps, a mobile and cloud-first turnkey software consulting company, doesn’t want to stop there. He’s also developing an advanced feature that will flag counterfeit products on e-commerce websites such as Amazon, and even plans to turn Qikfox into a full-fledged operating system.
However, his ultimate mission is to make the web more participatory and democratic through the use of zero-code content publishing and universally discoverable handles.
“There have been many attempts to build a decentralized internet but these have all failed. Not because the technology isn’t there, but because nobody knew how to control spam,” Gaur said. “So we built a very disruptive IPFS (InterPlanetary File System) kind of technology that goes far beyond what IPFS and decentralized internet technologies do today. It completely eliminates the need for domain name systems.”
Gaur, in a bid to reduce the entry barrier for non-tech consumers to participate in the digital economy, has developed Smart Stacks, a zero-code content publishing platform that makes content universally discoverable. “We want to create a decentralized replacement for whatever Google is doing today with the cloud,” Gaur added.
Qikfox, which costs $180 per year, is currently available on an invite-only basis in North America, has so far amassed more than 4,000 subscriptions. Gaur plans to bring the browser to the U.K. and Europe in the next 90 days.