Opera Software acquired Silicon Valley-based Skyfire Labs, which makes the Opera Mini-like browser that supports video and Flash content. In addition, Skyfire is also known for its Rocket Optimizer software that allows mobile operators to leverage cloud computing to optimize virtually any video and other multimedia on crowded cell towers. The solution provides mobile networks an average of 60% boost in capacity by reducing the size of video and other multimedia content. Skyfire can detect when specific users are facing poor quality of experience or connections that need assistance, and intervene in milliseconds. As a result, long start times are minimized, and so is rebuffering, and stalls on video and audio streams.
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.
At the moment, Skyfire has 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 two companies look to expand on Opera’s Web Pass offering, and reach even more operator customers.
Under the deal, which is expected to be closed before March 15th, 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 price includes a mix of cash and stock, with an upfront consideration of $50 million (including $8 million of cash on the Skyfire balance sheet) and performance based earn-out payments over three years, including $26 million in cash held in escrow and funded upfront, that can bring the total deal size to $155 million.
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