Opera Software recently announced the acquisition of Latin American Netflix-style subscription service for premium apps, Bemobi, for an undisclosed sum. Bemobi offers smartphone users unlimited access to premium mobile apps for a small weekly fee. Users pay for the service through their carriers. In emerging markets where credit card penetration is low, this is an important factor to attract customers.
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With 6m active subscribers, Bemobi adds innovative app-discovery and monetization services to Opera’s offerings. Opera now plans to take the company global. Lars Boilesen, CEO, Opera Software, says:
“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. 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, founded in 2000, is to continue to operate under its own name. Its distribution partners already include Claro, Telefonica, América Móvil and Telcel. One of the attractions for developers is the restriction of its catalouge to include no more than roughly 500 apps at a time. This means developers stand a better chance at pushing through the competition on app stores.
In a press release, Opera summarises:
“For Opera’s mobile-operator partners, Bemobi’s offering will provide a highly engaging and relevant service they can offer to their users. Bemobi’s app-discovery services are highly customized for each mobile operator’s audience.”