Opera buys Skyfire browser in $155m deal

Opera and Skyfire

Opera Software has acquired the firm behind the Skyfire web browser in a deal worth up to $155 million, as it aims to boost its virtualisation services and go toe-to-toe with Chrome, IE and Safari.

The acquisition price includes a mix of cash and stock, with Opera set to pay $50 million upfront.

Opera highlighted the Rocket Optimiser software developed by Skyfire Labs as one of the key assets it had acquired.

"Rocket Optimiser on average provides mobile networks with a 60 per cent boost in capacity by reducing the size of video and other multimedia content as needed to fit the available bandwidth.

"Skyfire can detect when specific users are facing poor quality of experience or connections that need assistance, and intervene in milliseconds," Opera said in a blog post.

Lars Boilesen, CEO of Opera Software, claimed the the two companies are a natural fit.

"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," Biolesen said.

"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."

Opera's acquisition of Skyfire is expected to close before 15 March 2013.

Khidr Suleman is the Technical Editor at IT Pro, a role he has fulfilled since March 2012. He is responsible for the reviews section on the site  - so get in touch if you have a product you think might be of interest to the business world. He also covers the hardware and operating systems beats. Prior to joining IT Pro, Khidr worked as a reporter at Incisive Media. He studied law at the University of Reading and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism and Online Writing at PMA Training.