Opera Software announced today its acquisition of Bemobi, a leading, subscription-based mobile-app-discovery service in Latin America.
Bemobi offers a unique, one of a kind, “Netflix-style” subscription service for premium Android apps. Working with mobile operators, Bemobi’s proprietary app-wrapping technology allows smartphone owners access to unlimited use of premium mobile apps for a small weekly fee. Users pay for this service through their mobile operator billing systems, making the service highly effective in emerging markets, where credit-card and debit-card penetration is low.
The combination of Bemobi’s industry leading service with Opera’s global footprint, existing carrier and handset manufacturer relationships and app-distribution capabilities, allows Opera to bring innovative app-discovery and monetization services across the globe and position Opera as the global leader in this space.
“Opera has expanded rapidly in the mobile-app ecosystem, and our goal is to innovate within this space in a manner that benefits everyone. Bemobi is a natural fit for Opera in this direction,” says Lars Boilesen, CEO, Opera Software. “This acquisition brings an added dimension to our app-discovery services, with a new monetization model that has proven to work well in our core markets,” adds Boilesen.
“Bemobi plans to expand globally, leveraging Opera’s strategic assets by building on the early success of its subscription-based, app-discovery service in Latin America,” says Pedro Ripper, CEO, Bemobi.
Acquisition opens new expansion opportunities for Opera in Latin America
Bemobi’s partners include all leading mobile operators in Latin America. In addition to bringing Bemobi’s world-class solution to a global audience, the acquisition of Bemobi also establishes Opera as a market leader in Latin America and brings a whole range of services from Opera’s portfolio of products to the region.
Acquisition benefits all players in the mobile-app economy
With this acquisition, Opera can now bring scaled value to all players in the mobile ecosystem – end users, mobile-app developers, mobile operators and handset manufacturers.
For Opera’s premium app-developer partners, Bemobi’s reach, with over 6 million active subscribers, provides an effective channel through which they can get their apps discovered and monetized across Latin America.
For Opera’s mobile-operator partners, Bemobi’s offering will provide a highly engaging and relevant service they can offer to their users. Bemobi’s app-discovery services are highly customized for each mobile operator’s audience. Users pay for the service through the convenience of their mobile operators’ billing systems.
“Bemobi’s team, product, technology and operational excellence are highly complementary to Opera’s scaled presence in mobile-app discovery services,” says Sameer Merchant, President of Opera Commerce, a subsidiary of Opera Software. Merchant adds, “The combination of our respective strengths allows us to deliver services that benefit end users, our operator partners and our app-developer partners.”
The acquisition will be completed in 3Q 2015. Pedro Ripper will continue as CEO of Bemobi.