In a move to broaden its mobile operator solutions beyond the browser, Opera Software has acquired Silicon Valley based Skyfire Labs, a leader in mobile video optimization and cloud solutions for mobility. The acquisition price includes a mix of cash and stock, with an upfront consideration of US$50 million (including US$8 million of cash on the Skyfire balance sheet) and performance based earn-out payments over three years, including US$26 million in cash held in escrow and funded upfront, that can bring the total deal size to $155 million. The acquisition is expected to close before March 15, 2013.
Headquartered in Mountain View, California, Skyfire is known for its Rocket Optimizer™ software. This 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. Skyfire also offers Skyfire Horizon™, a mobile browser extension and toolbar platform that allows users to personalize their smartphone browser and operators to gain new monetization opportunities.
Commenting on the acquisition, Lars Boilesen, CEO, Opera Software said,”Opera and Skyfire are a natural fit. 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.”
After the deal closes, Jeffrey Glueck, CEO of Skyfire will assume the role of EVP of the Operator Business for Opera, as well as CEO of Skyfire, and will oversee the joint offerings for Opera across Opera Mini co-brand solutions for Operators and Skyfire’s product lines. Skyfire will remain an independent entity as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Opera, and will continue to develop and support the Skyfire browser.
The two companies envision a powerful new set of joint products to be released over the coming year by combining their talents and know-how. In particular, they look to expand on Opera’s Web Pass offering, which allows consumers to purchase innovative data plans such as an unlimited ‘day pass’ of popular apps and web sites for an affordable price, thanks to video and data optimization. WebPass can enable new business models for operators, such as toll free data, ad-supported data, and more.