Browser maker Opera successfully begins trading on NASDAQ
Opera is now a public company. The Norway-based company priced its initial public offering at $12 a share — the company initially expected to price its share in the $10 to $12 price range. Trading opened at $14.34 per share, up 19.5 percent. The company raised over $115 million with this IPO.
Chances are you are reading this article in Google Chrome on your computer or Android phone, or in Safari if you’re reading from an iPhone. Opera has a tiny market share compared to its competitors. But it’s such a huge market that it’s enough to generate revenue.
In its F-1 document, the company revealed that it generated $128.9 million in operating revenue in 2017, which resulted in $6.1 million in net profit.
The history of the company behind Opera is a bit complicated. A few years ago, Opera shareholders decided to sell the browser operations to a consortium of Chinese companies. The adtech operations now form a separate company called Otello.
Opera Ltd., the company that just went public, has a handful of products — a desktop browser, different mobile browsers and a standalone Opera News app. Overall, around 182 million people use at least one Opera product every month.
The main challenge for Opera is that most of its revenue comes from two deals with search engines — Google and Yandex. Those two companies pay a fee to be the default search engine in Opera products. Yandex is the default option in Russia, while Google is enabled by default for the rest of the world.
The company also makes money from ads and licensing deals. When you first install Opera, the browser is pre-populated with websites by default, such as eBay and Booking.com. Those companies pay Opera to be there.
Now, Opera will need to attract as many users as possible and remain relevant against tech giants. Opera’s business model is directly correlated to its user base. If there are more people using Opera, the company will get more money from Google, Yandex and its advertising partners.