Opera browser subsidiary snaps up SA’s AdVine

(Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)
(Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)

Johannesburg - A subsidiary of Norwegian software and web browser firm Opera has acquired SA-based AdVine in a move aimed at reaching millions of African consumers with mobile advertising.

Opera Mediaworks - a mobile advertising platform for brands - has snapped up the Cape Town based advertising sales agency AdVine for an undisclosed amount.

AdVine manages advertising sales on behalf of mobile publishers. The company also works with media buying agencies to conceptualise mobile campaigns across its publisher network.

AdVine’s CEO, Sarah Utermark, told Fin24 that her company’s network reaches over 50 million people in Africa. Prior to this deal, AdVine had a longstanding working relationship with Opera and Utermark explained that this 50 million figure includes part of the web browser’s reach on the continent.

Statistics released by Opera earlier this year indicated it has over 259 million unique users in Africa of its ‘Mini’ mobile browser in Africa.

AdVine’s other clients, though, include the BBC, MTN and even Vodacom, which has had ‘Opera Mini Smart Pages’ put together by the South African advertising agency.

“Opera Mediaworks's global footprint gives us access to one of the biggest mobile ad networks of premium publishers in the world,” Utermark told Fin24.

“Opera Mini is the most widely used browser in Africa giving us unprecedented reach across the continent,” she added.

Meanwhile, Opera Mediaworks - in a Tuesday announcement - explained how AdVine is planned to help it capitalise on its African audience.

“Africa is positioned to become the ‘mobile continent’ with experts predicting an explosion in mobile data usage over the next five years,” said Mahi de Silva, CEO of Opera Mediaworks, in a statement.

“We are particularly excited about the hundreds of millions of African and global consumers who will be glued to the African Cup of Nations in 2015.”

A June 2014 mobility report from telecoms equipment maker Ericsson said that Sub-Saharan Africa is one of the fastest growing mobile markets in the world with over 600 million mobile phone subscriptions.

The report further predicted that this figure will increase to over 930 million by the end of 2019.

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