Opera, the Norway-based browser company, has filed for an IPO in the United States. F-1 documents filed with the application reveal that the company plans to raise up to $115 million in its initial public offering. Opera currently has around 182 million monthly active users across its mobile software products and 57.4 million users on desktop browsers. The business generated $128.9 million in 2017 operating revenues for a net income of $6.1 million, with their top two business partners contributing approximately 56.1% of the total operating revenue.
The SaaS world saw SaaS Capital, the Cincinnati-based investment firm, file to launch a $75 million fund this week. Investing in mostly the enterprise, higher education and healthcare sectors “to fund the growth of SaaS business[es] in lieu of round[s] of equity,” the venture firm loans SaaS companies the equivalent of 4x to 7x of a business’ MRR. This will be SaaS Capital’s third and largest fund to date, with Fund 2 at $58 million and Fund 1 at $23 million.
In digital marketing news, Google’s Speed Update, which will cause the algorithm to consider load speed when ranking pages for mobile search, will take effect on an undisclosed date this month. Google stated the update “will only affect pages that deliver the slowest experience to users.” John Mueller, a Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google, further clarified on Tuesday that slow sites should ideally improve speeds to a significant degree, while moderately fast-loading sites will likely not benefit from incremental improvements.
New in PaaS listings this week we have a $1M government and military security recruitment platform, with nearly two decades of operational history in an evergreen niche, track record of success serving multiple Fortune 500 companies, a proven product market fit connecting hundreds of thousands of job seekers and employers over the years and an experienced customer support representative transitioning with the business.
New in SaaS business listings this week we have a $38K B2B image conversion software business, with a reputable brand with almost a decade of operational history, robust feature set and capabilities attracting a large and loyal audience, strong traffic with over 1.1 million sessions in the past year and rankings for over 3,500 keywords. If you are interested in either of these businesses, please follow the links to request a prospectus.
In events news this week, photos from the June Boston E-Commerce Meetup are up on the Facebook page, so be sure to tag yourself and friends! Next up, Founder Thomas Smale will be attending Affiliate Summit East in New York from July 29-31, so make sure to reply to this email to set up a meeting if you will be in the area.
Continue reading below for more on Opera’s IPO, SaaS Capital’s new fund, and Google Speed Update for mobile.
- Authoritative brand with nearly two decades of operational history in an evergreen niche
- Lean and scalable cost structure allowing for strong net margins of c.80% in the past year
- Track record of success serving multiple Fortune 500 brands
- Proven product market fit, connecting hundreds of thousands of job seekers and employers over the years
- Experienced customer support representative transitioning post-sale
Yearly net profit: $288,000
Asking price $1,00,000
- Reputable brand with almost a decade of operational history
- Robust feature set and capabilities, attracting a large and loyal audience
- Strong traffic with over 1.1 million sessions in the past year
- Site ranks for 3,500 keywords
Yearly net profit: $11,100
Asking price $38,000
In The News…
Opera Files for IPO
The Norway-based company has filed for IPO on the US markets, according to documents filed with the SEC.
Opera operates several web browsers: one for desktops, several for mobile phones, and a standalone Opera News app. Across these, the company currently has around 182 million active users across mobile products, 57.4 million across desktop and 90.2 million users of Opera News (with some overlap). Yandex, the default search engine in Russia, and Google represent the main revenue source for the company, paying Opera to remain the default search engines as its user base grows. Documents filed for the IPO support this. The company states that “A small number of business partners contribute a significant portion of our revenues. In 2017, our top two largest business partners in aggregate contributed approximately 56.1% of our operating revenue, with Google and Yandex accounting for 43.2% and 12.9% of our operating revenue, respectively.” Other revenue sources include advertising sales and licensing deals.
Opera will be listed on the NASDAQ under OPRA.
SaaS Capital Launches New Fund
SaaS Capital is launching its third fund in what will be its largest venture yet.
Based in Cincinnati, the firm invests mostly in enterprise, higher education and healthcare organizations with the aim of funding “the growth of a SaaS business in lieu of a round of equity.” This week, the firm filed paperwork with the SEC indicating that it is in the planning stages for launching its third fund at $75 million, its largest yet pending being fully raised. While SaaS Capital has led and participated in a number of venture capital rounds, the firm specializes in “committed credit facilities”, investment vehicles which allow companies to draw capital equal to between 4x and 7x MRR to fund SaaS growth. This model allows companies in its portfolio to skip venture rounds, with one in particular (CoverMyMeds) being acquired by McKesson in a $1.1 billion deal after a $4 million debt facility from SaaS Capital just four years earlier.
Companies will be able to borrow more from the SaaS Capital credit line as they grow.
Google Speed Update for Mobile
Google is releasing a page speed algorithm update to mobile rankings.
Beginning in July, the search engine will take page load time into account for mobile search rankings. In January, Google announced that a new ranking algorithm designed for mobile search will penalize pages that “deliver the slowest experience to users.” Webmasters can use the PageSpeed report to analyze page load speed and improve load speed so their rankings aren’t too heavily affected. While slow sites can incrementally improve, Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller has shared that ideally, slow sites would significantly improve the load speed. He also added that sites which are reasonably fast won’t change things by tweaking their speeds, though he did not share what “reasonably fast” might mean.
Publishers and website managers should do a final check of mobile load speeds using the PageSpeed Insights tool to ensure they won’t receive harsh penalties from the coming update.
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