Opera aquires mobile video optimiser Skyfire

By Danny Palmer
15 Feb 2013 View Comments

Norwegian web browser provider Opera Software has announced its acquisition of California-based mobile video optimisation provider Skyfire Labs in a deal that could be worth up to $155m (£100m).

The move comes after Opera revealed its decision to drop its in-house developed Presto rendering engine in favour of WebKit, the same engine used by Google Chrome and Apple Safari.

Further reading

Skyfire's Rocket Optimizer software allows mobile operators to leverage cloud computing to optimise video and other multimedia content. Essentially, it enables bandwidth used by video streaming to react to sudden drops in network capacity. The move should also improve Opera's influence in America.

"Opera and Skyfire are a natural fit," said Lars Boilesen, CEO of Opera Software. "Both companies have evolved far beyond their browser roots. Skyfire adds capabilities to our portfolio around video, app optimisation, 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," he added.

Jeffrey Glueck, CEO of Skyfire, welcomed the buyout by Opera.

"Opera practically invented cloud compression to improve mobile user experience, and the team at Skyfire is proud to join forces and advance cloud solutions together.

"Opera's over 100 carrier relationships, global sales team, and delivery organisation can accelerate the global commercialisation of Skyfire's technology," he continued, adding:

"The synergies across all the product lines for both companies are tremendous."

Opera's acquisition of Skyfire is expected to be completed on 15 March and will see Glueck step into the position of EVP of the Operator Business for Opera in addition to his role as CEO of Skyfire. The company will remain an independent entity as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Opera.

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