Opera went public

    On July 27, 2018, the company Opera Ltd., the developer of the browser of the same name, held a public offering of shares on the Nasdaq exchange. The placement went well. In the first hours of trading, the stock price rose 30% of the offer price of $ 12, reaching a maximum of $ 15.62.

    Total on the first day of trading sold shares worth $ 115 million. This is a lot of money that the company will spend on improving the browser and its other products. According to the accompanying documents for investors, Opera plans to use the money "in research and development of artificial intelligence software to use it with content discovery services, as well as for marketing, partnerships and acquisitions." Currently, about 25% of Opera employees are working on Opera News and the AI ​​platform.

    In general, Opera will certainly not suffer from a lack of finances. Capitalization of the corporation based on the current value of the shares is $ 1.2 billion.

    Opera has a rich history. It was founded in 1995 by two Norwegians: Jon Stephenson von Techner and Geir Ivarsoy.

    Geir Ivarsoy was a leading developer at Opera Software and died in 2006 after a long battle with cancer. On the “About the Program” page of the Opera browser (starting with version 9) the dedication “In Memory of Geir Ivarsøy” is posted.

    The second co-founder, Jon Stephenson von Techner, left Opera Software in 2011, and later founded Vivaldi Technologies, half of whose employees had previously worked at Opera. In 2016, the first stable version of Vivaldi browser was released “for advanced users who want to use the browser's default features more, and not install extensions”.

    Vivaldi Browser

    For its time, Opera has become a truly revolutionary browser. The first publicly available version was released in 1996 as a shareware program. The browser attracted an incredible speed compared to its competitors Netscape Navigator and Internet Explorer. Actually, the program was distributed under the motto “the fastest browser on earth” (“the fastest browser on Earth”). For example, here are the historical test results for the speed of all browsers on an Intel Pentium 3 800 MHz computer with 256 MB of RAM.

    As you can see, Opera wins absolutely in all tests under Windows. In some tests, its advantage is overwhelming. Ordinary users did not need tests - the difference in speed was obvious without them. Therefore, Opera has become one of the most beloved browsers in the post-Soviet space, where the factor of paid software did not have much importance.

    In the world of Opera became the third most popular browser at the time - and it has developed a circle of loyal fans. During the dotcom boom, when the founders of Netscape became multimillionaires, Jon Stephenson von Techner refused to take the company to the stock exchange. Perhaps, by doing so, he saved the company when the bubble burst.

    However, in 2004, the company still held an IPO on the Norwegian stock exchange and raised about $ 20 million. And in 2016, a well-known deal happened when a consortium of Chinese investors bought the Opera Software browser direction for $ 575 million. This company is now called Opera Ltd. It was she who now issued shares on the Nasdaq exchange.

    Chinese owners Opera Ltd. rejoice in a successful IPO on July 27, 2018.

    Today, Opera receives more than half of its revenue from partner search agreements with Google and Yandex. In the prospectus for the placement of shares, this is indicated as a risk factor - revenues are too dependent on a small number of partners. In the first three months of 2018, Opera earned a profit of $ 6.6 million with an income of $ 39.4 million. This is about 55% more than in the same period last year.

    Frode Jacobsen, CFO (Frode Jacobsen), says that the partnership with Google is mutually beneficial: Opera has been working with Google for more than ten years and extends the contract periodically. The last three-year agreement was signed at the end of 2017.

    In 2018, according to StatCounter statistics, Opera’s desktop and mobile browsers have about 3.5% of the world market.

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