Opera expands in Silicon Valley with extra staff and offices

Norwegian browser maker has doubled its headcount in the area over the last year and predicts it will be adding new staff to the payroll next year too.
Written by Stig Øyvann on

Opera Software, one of Norway's biggest tech exports, is growing: the company's value has more than doubled since the start of the year, and now stands at about NOK 8.5bn (just over €1bn). That's a rise of 120 per cent, far ahead of the Oslo Stock Exchange average, which has risen 13 per cent over the same period.

As a result, the company today announced an expansion of its activity in Silicon Valley.

According to the company, Opera now has operations in three locations around the area — San Francisco, San Mateo and Mountain View. Opera's facilities in San Mateo have tripled in size from last year to today, to 60,000 square feet of offices, while the company and its subsidiaries now employ 200 people in Silicon Valley, twice as many as last year.

Opera expects the number of employees in Silicon Valley to rise to 300 in 2014, it said — a significant chunk of its overall workforce: the company's most recently published headcount was over 900 at end of 2012, according to the Opera website.

Growth from acquisitions

Most of the expansion has its roots in Opera's recent acquisitions. Opera bough Skyfire, a cloud-based mobile video and media optimisation technology company, earlier this year, and it alone accounts for about 50 new Opera employees in Silicon Valley.

Another important growth area for Opera in the US is mobile advertising. The company's Opera Mediaworks subsidiary launched this year as well, is also growing. This company consists of AdMarvel, Mobile Theory, Fourth Screen Advertising and Opera Mediaworks Performance.

It's not only in its headcount that Opera's US operation has seen significant growth: the revenues of from the Opera Mediaworks subsidiary grew 106 per cent year on year in second quarter of 2013, for example. This revenue comes from 60 billion ad impressions per month, served through 13,000 websites and applications and reaching 400 million end users globally.

The recent launch of the company’s new web browser for the iPad, Coast, is also attributed to the company's US operations.

Strategic importance

"Silicon Valley has become one of Opera's most strategic locations to do business and grow our talent base," Lars Boilesen, Opera's CEO, said in a statement. "We realise the importance and influence Silicon Valley has on how we power the global mobile ecosystem... We will continue our expansion in this region by hiring people in all areas and generating more revenue than ever."

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