What is the business model of signal app?

In an interview to one of the media houses (NDTV) ,Brian Action the co founder of Signal App was asked the question of long term business plan to ensure Signal can scale up and sustain itself?

He gave the example of wikipedia in order to provide world class service without charging anythign form the customer. The whole model is based on donations. Thats what he plans to replicate with signal app .Here is what he said in the interview .

“We’ve gone back and forth on a variety of business plans and we really like the non-profit structure and we really like the, you know, sort of donations and grants business model. Now you know that’s work, of course, to make sure that you have donors large donors, have small donors, people give you and there’s a spectrum of donors. 

Wikipedia is a great example of a non-profit technology organization that’s able to provide a fantastic service that’s free for all, and that’s what we are working towards. Part of that’s growing the users and making sure that we have enough donors to work with and then, of course, giving them, you know, a reasonable tool to give us a donation if they prefer. 

And then we also cultivate large donors and that’s how we will sustain ourselves in the long term.

There’s no other plan to actually get another investment. It has to be a donation model and what I want to do is I want to earn people’s donations. That’s the right relationship. I want to build features and capabilities and build a delightful product that earned your donation. I want you to voluntarily want to give us money not feel like oh I have to pay for it because you know I have to pay for it 

when asked about signal still asking for customer phone number for registeration and thus still a security cocern as the number becomes public .

The questioned was popped up to Brian

Signal has so far relied on phone numbers that are still tied to a user’s identity, are there any plans to introduce user ids that will let a user to be completely private? 

here is what Brian told.

I think that we will explore these ideas. We give them a really good consideration because they give you another layer of privacy protection and that’s what drives us. 

It’s one of the features that’s most frequently requested, of course, as well and so if we build it and when we build, we would do it in a privacy preserving way at all times. “