Skyfire (company)

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Type Private
Industry Telecom
Founded 2007 (2007)
Founder(s) Nitin Bhandari, Erik Swenson,
Headquarters Mountain View, California, USA
Area served Worldwide
Key people Nitin Bhandari (CEO)
Products Rocket Optimizer, Skyfire Horizon, Skyfire Web Browser
Employees 50+

Skyfire is a software company founded in 2007, and acquired by Opera Software in 2013. They offer network optimization technologies including video optimization and monetization tools for carriers. Skyfire maintains their Skyfire Web Browser, for Apple iOS (for both the iPhone and iPad) platforms, as a showcase and laboratory for its mobile operator technology.[1] Skyfire was funded by venture capital,[3][4] and was acquired by Opera Software in March 2013.


Skyfire was found in 2007 by Nitin Bhandari and Erik Swenson. The company was originally named DVC Labs[1] but changed their name in 2008.[5]

Skyfire received initial funding of $4.8 million from Matrix Partners and Trinity Ventures in June 2007.[6] Skyfire increased their funding in 2008 with an additional $13 million investment from Lightspeed Venture Partners, Matrix and Trinity. As part of the investment, a Lightspeed Ventures partner joined the board of directors.[7] In January 2012, they received $8 million from Verizon Investments LLC, Matrix, Trinity, and Lightspeed.[8] In 2010, Skyfire purchased Kolbysoft, which allowed them to extend their web browser for the Android marketplace with Kolby’s Steel Web Browser.[9] In October 2012, SkyFire raised $10 million in series D financing from Panorama Capital, which is a venture capital firm that spun out from JP Morgan Chase in 2006.[5]

On February 15, 2013, Skyfire was acquired by Opera Software for $155 million—Opera primarily eyed Skyfire for its video optimization technologies, which complements its own content optimization technologies.[10]


Skyfire offers three main products including their Rocket Optimizer video and multimedia optimization software, Skyfire Horizon browser extension platform, and a consumer mobile web browser.[11]

Rocket Optimizer[edit]

Skyfire’s Rocket Optimizer is a platform used by Wireless Operators to optimize video and images and save bandwidth while allowing multimedia, particularly video, to load more smoothly at times of poor wireless connectivity. It can optimize most unencrypted online videos in real-time. It optimizes based on device type and network congestion levels. It does so by performing greater optimization for smaller screen sizes with minimal impact on the end user and optimizes more heavily when networks are experiencing higher traffic rates. Rocket Optimizer 3.0 is the most recent version of Skyfire's carrier-grade network video and data optimization platform, and was launched in January 2013.[12] It offers real-time optimization of mobile video to enable smoother streaming, and allows for the ability to measure, quantify and then mitigate congestion down to a per-stream level. Rocket Optimizer 3.0 also supports video formats, including MP4 (which comprises most HTML5 and iOS video). The Optimizer can be used on both 3G and 4G LTE networks.[13]

Skyfire Horizon[edit]

Skyfire’s Horizon is a web browser extension framework to the native smartphone browser. The toolbar is a fully customizable web-based operator portal embedded in the default browser of new smartphones. It offers extensions that can be customized by mobile and end users. It includes a web-based management portal that allows an operator to define extensions via the cloud without needing to update client software. It allows personal services to users and also ad serving capabilities.[14] Skyfire Horizon is currently deployed on multiple tier one carriers in North America, and is in numerous trials across the U.S. and Europe.[15]

In October 2012, Sprint added Skyfire Horizon to their Pinsight Media+ promotion, and its upcoming Android devices.[16]

Skyfire Web Browser[edit]

Skyfire Web Browser is the company’s consumer product which delivers a requestor’s web page using a webkit rendering engine on the device using the browser. While delivering the web content, the browser analyzes the URL on a proprietary server and instantly optimizes and streams flash videos to the mobile device. The web browser is currently available on the Android and Apple iOS. Skyfire maintained its consumer app business as a showcase and laboratory for its technology. Skyfire apps across Apple iOS and Google Android devices have been downloaded by over 17 million users. According to the Apple App Store, the app was the #1 paid utility app for the iPad in 2011.[17]


In 2008, their web browser was named in a blog as one of the six mobile applications for Windows Mobile.[18] This was prior to the company discontinuing their browser for the Windows Mobile Platform.[19] Skyfire was also awarded the 2008 Mobile Maverick Award by Laptop Magazine.[20] In 2009, they received the Webby People’s Voice Award for Best Mobile Application[21] and were also recognized in 2010 by PC World as the World Best Third-Party Android Browser.[22] Skyfire was recognized for their web browser being the second Adroid App of all time by Tech Crunch in 2010[3] and as one of the top ten startup companies to watch by Light Reading’s in 2011.[23]

Skyfire was listed by Red Herring for being one of the top 100 most innovative companies in 2012.[24] Skyfire won a grand prize in the 2012 TIA Venture Network Challenge.[25]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Businessweek Snapshot
  2. ^ Skyfire Team
  3. ^ a b Skyfire About Us Page
  4. ^ Roy Furchgott (December 9, 2010). "Skyfire Brings Flash to the iPhone, Usually". The New York Times: Gadgetwise. Retrieved October 22, 2012. 
  5. ^ a b Steven Loeb (October 11, 2012). "Skyfire Raises $10 million in Series D". VatorNews. Retrieved October 22, 2012. 
  6. ^ Buzz Sparks. "Skyfire Labs – Rich Media Mobile Browser". Retrieved 7 June 2012. 
  7. ^ The Inquisitor. "Skyfire Labs Take $13 Million". Retrieved 7 June 2012. 
  8. ^ City Biz List Boston. "Matrix Partners Join $8M Round For Skyfire Labs". Retrieved 7 June 2012. 
  9. ^ PC World Business Center. "Skyfire Buys Koobysoft to Make an Android Browser". Retrieved 7 June 2012. 
  10. ^ "Opera Eyes Speedier Mobile Web With Skyfire Acquisition". PC Magazine. Retrieved 15 February 2013. 
  11. ^ Anthony Ha (October 11, 2012). "Skyfire Raises $10M To bring Its Mobile Optimization Tools To Global Carriers". TechCrunch. Retrieved October 22, 2012. 
  12. ^ Byte. "Skyfire Rocket Optimizer Helps Alleviate Wireless Network Congestion". Retrieved 13 June 2012. 
  13. ^ "Skyfire Lightens Up Online Video by Transcoding in the Cloud". Retrieved 13 June 2012. 
  14. ^ The Apple Book. "Skyfire Gets "Fuel" From Verizon as well as Three Existing Investors to Expand Its Rocket Platform With $8M in Series C Financing". Retrieved 13 June 2012. 
  15. ^ My Android Phone. "Skyfire Gets Fuel From Verizon....". Retrieved 13 June 2012. 
  16. ^ "Sprint Aims to Build on Pinsight Media+ (TM) Advertising Service With Addition of Skyfire Horizon Browser Extension Framework For Developers". PRWeb. October 23, 2012. Retrieved November 21, 2012. 
  17. ^ Apple iTunes. "Skyfire Web Browser – Flash Video Enabled Social Browser". Retrieved 13 June 2012. 
  18. ^ Read Write Web. "6 Must Have Mobile Apps for Windows Mobile". Retrieved 7 June 2012. 
  19. ^ Skyfire Press Release. "Retirement of Legacy 1.0 Product". Retrieved 7 June 2012. 
  20. ^ Laptop Magazine. "Skyfire: Mobile Maverick Award Winner 2008". Retrieved 7 June 2012. 
  21. ^ Enhanced Online News. (Press Release) "Skyfire’s Mobile Browswer Wins Prestigious 2009 Webby for Best Mobile Application". Retrieved 7 June 2012. 
  22. ^ PC World. </ "Battle of the Android Browsers". Retrieved 7 June 2012. 
  23. ^ Light Reading. "Verizon Helps Put $8M Into Skyfire". Retrieved 13 June 2012. 
  24. ^ Red Herring Magazine. "Americas 2012 Top 100". Retrieved 13 June 2012. 
  25. ^ TIA Venture Network. "TIA Venture Network Challenge". Retrieved 13 June 2012. 

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