Browser maker Opera has filed to go public
In 2017, Opera generated $128.9 million in operating revenue, which led to a net income of $6.1 million.
While many people are already familiar with the web browser Opera, the company itself has had a tumultuous history. Opera shareholders separated the company into two different entities — the browser maker and the adtech operations.
The advertising company is now called Otello. And a consortium of Chinese companies acquired the web browser, the consumer products and the Opera brand. That second part is the one that is going public in the U.S.
Opera currently manages a web browser for desktop computers and a handful of web browsers for mobile phones. On Android, you can download Opera, Opera Mini and Opera Touch. On iOS, you’ll only find Opera Mini. More recently, the company launched a standalone Opera News app.
Overall, Opera currently has around 182 million monthly active users across its mobile products, 57.4 million monthly active users for its desktop browser, and 90.2 million users for Opera News in its browsers and standalone app. There’s some overlap across those user bases.
More interestingly, Opera only makes money through three revenue sources. The main one is a deal with two search engines. Yandex is the default search engine in Russia, and Google is the default search engine in the rest of the world. As the company’s user base grows, partners pay more money to remain the default search engine.
“A small number of business partners contribute a significant portion of our revenues,” the company writes in its F-1 document. “In 2017, our top two largest business partners in aggregate contributed approximately 56.1% of our operating revenue, with Google and Yandex accounting for 43.2% and 12.9% of our operating revenue, respectively.”
The rest is ads and licensing deals. You may have noticed that Opera’s speed dial is pre-populated with websites by default, such as Booking.com or eBay. Those are advertising partners. Some phone manufacturers and telecom companies also pre-install Opera browsers on their devices. The company is getting some revenue from that too.
The browser market is highly competitive and Opera is facing tech giants, such as Google, Apple and Microsoft. At the same time, people spend so much time in their browser that there is probably enough room for a small browser company like Opera. The company will be listed on NASDAQ under the symbol OPRA.