Opera buys Skyfire for $155 million
Opera will be spending more than $150 million to beef up its mobile chops with Skyfire
Opera will be spending up to $155 million to buy Skyfire and the move should lead to a new class of mobile products.
Skyfire might be best known for creating a browser that kind of brought Flash to the iPhone. Since then, it has released multiple browsers for Android and iPhone and also introduced a video-optimization service aimed at businesses that want to reach mobile users in a more efficient way.
"Opera and Skyfire are a natural fit," said Lars Boilesen, CEO of Opera, in a prepared statement. "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."
The acquisition is expected to be finalized in March and Skyfire's CEO Jeff Glueck will become an executive vice president at Opera. The deal includes a $50 million upfront payment and earnouts could make the total deal worth up to $155 million.
In a blog post, Glueck said that merging with Opera will give it scale to reach a global market faster than it could have as an independent company.
"We share the belief of Opera's original founders and employees that access to the web should be a universal right," Glueck wrote. "As so much of the value of today's Web comes via video and audio streaming, that belief just gained fresh and renewed relevance for a Web 3.0, mobile-first world."
The deal comes as Opera is preparing to make a major shift in its core products, as it will be switching from its Presto rendering engine to WebKit. The WebKit rendering engine is one of the most popular on mobile (it powers Safari and Chrome) and the company believes the move will make it easier for developers to target Opera browsers. We expect to see the first Opera WebKit browsers at this month's Mobile World Congress.