Web browser Opera Ltd., a company that goes back to the mid-1990s when Windows 95 reigned supreme and Steve Jobs was brain-deep in a company that wasn’t Apple, is back in the public eye.
The Norway-based browser maker, who listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange back in 2004, debuted on the Nasdaq Global Select Market Friday after raising as much as $115m in stock.
3rd is the one in the wedding dress…
Created by engineers Jon von Tetzchner and Geir Ivarsoy, the first major version of the browser for Microsoft’s Windows was Opera 2.1, released in 1997.
According to Bloomberg, Opera developed a cult following that helped the company become the world’s 3rd most popular web browser at one point. But Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Google Chrome (in its infancy at the time), proved to be too much for the lesser-known company, putting their trajectory in a weird spot.
By 2016, the company moved toward a $1B buyout by a consortium of Chinese investors, but the deal was quickly shot down by the government, forcing them to agree to sell just its web-browser business for $575m.
Now they’ve gotta find a way to stay relevant
Now, Opera obviously has miniscule market share compared to its competition. But the company has a handful of products that reach around 182m users every month, and since the market is huge, that has been enough to generate revenue.
As Techcrunch reports, the company reported $128.9m in operating revenue in 2017, with a $6.1m net profit.
Now, the company is looking to attract as many users as possible in order to retain relevance against the big boys.
Get the 5-minute roundup you’ll actually read in your inbox
Business and tech news in 5 minutes or less