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Opera buys Bemobi, adds app discovery

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Opera Software has acquired Bemobi, a subscription-based mobile app-discovery service in Latin America.

Bemobi offers a 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 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 of 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.”

“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 of Bemobi.