Skyfire (company)

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Skyfire
Type Private
Industry Telecom
Founded 2007 (2007)
Founders Nitin Bhandari, Erik Swenson,
Co-Founders[1][2]
Headquarters Mountain View, California, USA
Area served Worldwide
Key people Nitin Bhandari (CEO)
Products Rocket Optimizer, Skyfire Horizon
Employees 50+
Website www.skyfire.com

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 discontinued its Skyfire Web Browser in 2014 in order to consolidate its focus on its mobile operator technology.[1] Skyfire was funded by venture capital,[3][4] and was acquired by Opera Software in March 2013.

History[edit]

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]

Technology[edit]

Skyfire offers two main products: its Rocket Optimizer video, audio and multimedia optimization software and Skyfire Horizon browser extension platform.

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.[11] 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. The platform also supports video formats, including MP4 (which comprises most HTML5 and iOS video). It can be used on both 3G and 4G LTE networks.[12]

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.[13] The product is currently deployed on multiple tier one carriers in North America, and is in numerous trials across the U.S. and Europe.[14]

In October 2012, Sprint added Skyfire Horizon to their Pinsight Media+ promotion, and its upcoming Android devices.[15]

Skyfire Web Browser[edit]

>Skyfire Web Browser was a downloadable mobile web browser which rendered requested web pages on a proprietary server and relayed them to the browser on the end user's mobile phone, which then displayed the content.

It comprised two distinct generations of mobile browser technology. In the first generation (1.x) browser, a web page was fully rendered by a server separate from the mobile device, similar to the operation of a thin client.[16] This approach is also used by Opera Mini. The second generation (2.x) browser employed a hybrid approach, using a conventional rendering of web pages on the handheld device, but streaming video from Skyfire's servers.[17]

The browser received the Webby "People's Voice Award for Best Mobile Application" in 2009.[18] and was also recognized in 2010 by PC World as the World's Best Third-Party Android Browser.[19] and was named the "#2 Android App of All Time" by Tech Crunch.[20] In 2011, it was named the "Top iPad Utility" by Apple.[21]

The Skyfire Web Browser was supported on iOS[,[22] Android, SymbianOS and Windows Mobile[23] devices before being discontinued in May 2014.

Awards[edit]

Skyfire was recognized as one of the top ten startup companies to watch by Light Reading’s in 2011.[24] The company was also listed by Red Herring for being one of the top 100 most innovative companies in 2012.[25] Skyfire won a grand prize in the 2012 TIA Venture Network Challenge.[26]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Businessweek Snapshot
  2. ^ Skyfire Team
  3. ^ 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. ^ Byte. "Skyfire Rocket Optimizer Helps Alleviate Wireless Network Congestion". Retrieved 13 June 2012. 
  12. ^ Wired.com. "Skyfire Lightens Up Online Video by Transcoding in the Cloud". Retrieved 13 June 2012. 
  13. ^ 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. 
  14. ^ My Android Phone. "Skyfire Gets Fuel From Verizon....". Retrieved 13 June 2012. 
  15. ^ "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. 
  16. ^ Skyfire brings desktop-quality browsing to your phone, CNET
  17. ^ Skyfire 2.0 for Android Launches!
  18. ^ Enhanced Online News. (Press Release) "Skyfire’s Mobile Browser Wins Prestigious 2009 Webby for Best Mobile Application". Retrieved 7 June 2012. 
  19. ^ PC World. </ "Battle of the Android Browsers". Retrieved 7 June 2012. 
  20. ^ Tech Crunch. "Top 30 Android Apps of All Time". Retrieved 14 June 2012. 
  21. ^ Skyfire Blog. "Top Apps". Retrieved 14 June 2012 (Entry Shows Screenshot of Appstore Rewind). 
  22. ^ Get Skyfire page at Skyfire site
  23. ^ "Retirement of Legacy 1.0 Product". Skyfire Blog. Skyfire. 15 November 2010. Retrieved 7 January 2011. 
  24. ^ Light Reading. "Verizon Helps Put $8M Into Skyfire". Retrieved 13 June 2012. 
  25. ^ Red Herring Magazine. "Americas 2012 Top 100". Retrieved 13 June 2012. 
  26. ^ TIA Venture Network. "TIA Venture Network Challenge". Retrieved 13 June 2012. 

External links[edit]