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Opera Software Just Bought Skyfire Labs

By - Source: Opera Software | B 7 comments

Opera Software has purchased Skyfire for $155 million USD.

Opera Software said on Friday that it acquired Silicon Valley-based Skyfire Labs, the developer behind the popular mobile browser and its key underlying Rocket Optimizer mobile video optimization technology.

Thanks to its elastic and virtualization-friendly cloud architecture, Skyfire's Rocket Optimizer software allows mobile operators to leverage cloud computing to optimize virtually any video and other multimedia on crowded cell towers, including 3G and 4G LTE networks. It minimalizes load times, buffering and stalls in both video and audio.

"Rocket Optimizer on average provides mobile networks a 60-percent boost in capacity by reducing the size of video and other multimedia content as needed to fit the available bandwidth," the company said. "Skyfire can detect when specific users are facing poor quality of experience or connections that need assistance, and intervene in milliseconds."

Also in Skyfire's portfolio is the Skyfire Horizon mobile browser extension and toolbar platform. This allows users to personalize their smartphone browser while generating revenue for operators. There's also the Skyfire Web Browser for various platforms which promises the delivery of Flash-based video, even on Apple iOS devices.

"Opera and Skyfire are a natural fit," said Lars Boilesen, CEO, Opera Software. "Both companies have evolved far beyond their browser roots. Skyfire adds capabilities to our portfolio around video, app optimization, smartphones and tablets, and strength in North America. With video expected to consume over two-thirds of global mobile bandwidth by 2015, and as time spent on Android and iOS apps explodes, we are excited to extend Opera’s solutions for operators."

Skyfire currently counts three large U.S. mobile operators as customers for its Rocket Optimizer and Skyfire Horizon solutions, and is in trials with ten other operators around the world, the company said.

According to the $155 million USD deal, the acquisition price includes a mix of cash and stock, with an upfront consideration of $50 million that also includes $8 million of cash on the Skyfire balance sheet. The deal also includes performance based earn-out payments over three years, including $26 million USD in cash held in escrow and funded upfront.

Once the acquisition deal closes, Skyfire CEO Jeffery Glueck will assume the role of EVP of the Operator Business for Opera while keeping his current CEO position. He will oversee the joint offerings for Opera across Opera Mini co-brand solutions for Operators and Skyfire’s product lines.

Opera said that Skyfire will remain an independent entity as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Opera, and will continue to develop and support the Skyfire browser. The acquisition itself is expected to close before March 15, 2013.

 

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Top Comments
  • 19 Hide
    freggo , February 16, 2013 7:36 PM
    Amazing how much money you can make with a free browser.
Other Comments
  • 19 Hide
    freggo , February 16, 2013 7:36 PM
    Amazing how much money you can make with a free browser.
  • 3 Hide
    Shin-san , February 16, 2013 9:44 PM
    Hm... so Skyfire seems like they will shrink images and videos so that they won't use as much bandwidth.
  • Display all 7 comments.
  • 5 Hide
    razor512 , February 16, 2013 10:33 PM
    skyfire did that in the past, and opera mini also does it, the problem is that current opera mini browsers cannot do flash or other animated content when using the compression.

    skyfire does it, and because of that, the combination will help make opera a default browser in many low powered phones. (while not as popular in the US, many phone companies around the world still make semi-smart phones where you won't really get any apps but you will be able to text and surf the web and get a few other smartphone like functions.

    Other than that, the remote processing stuff is useless for modern high performing devices
  • 1 Hide
    tenshin111 , February 17, 2013 8:31 AM
    razor512while not as popular in the US, many phone companies around the world still make semi-smart phones where you won't really get any apps but you will be able to text and surf the web and get a few other smartphone like functions.Other than that, the remote processing stuff is useless for modern high performing devices


    I guess you didn't know that smartphones accounted for approx. 44-46% of the mobile market in 2012? Yes, people are still buying and using feature phones and they make up for at slightly over half of all the phones manufactured in 2012.

    And compression is VERY useful for "modern" smartphones because it allows you to save money on broadband connection, especially when being abroad.
  • -4 Hide
    zybch , February 17, 2013 2:01 PM
    Who bought Skyfire?
    Seriously, who the hell uses Opera! Its a complete irrelevance at this stage with such low penetration the fact that its still about is somewhat suspicious. Possibly the ONLY reason its around is the ridiculous EU browser ballot thing forced upon Microsoft. Otherwise no 'normal' computer user would have even heard of Opera.
  • -1 Hide
    garrick , February 17, 2013 2:26 PM
    If you want to watch pr0n on your iphone you need skyfire. lol Puffin browser supposedly works too though I haven't used it yet.
  • 1 Hide
    darkavenger123 , February 18, 2013 1:50 AM
    Since Flash is openly dead on the mobile platform...is Skyfire still relevant?
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