Opera, who served web pages to 41 million people directly in November last year, up 150% from the same month the year earlier, purchased AdMarvel for an initial $8 million, with a further $15 million available depending on performance.
"Every month about 50 million people surf the Web with Opera for mobile phones," says Lars Boilesen, who recently replaced Jon S. von Tetzchner at the head of Opera Software. "With AdMarvel we believe we can play an important role in mobile advertising.â€
According to StatCounter, in December 2009 Opera had 26% of all mobile web browsing, ahead of Appleâ€™s iPhone with only 21%. Gartner estimates that by in 2013 25% of revenues shops mobile downloads will come from advertising versus only 5% in 2009.
It is not known yet if how this will affect users of either Opera Mini or Opera Mobile, but Opera Mini is most likely to see changes first, as all web traffic for the free browser travel through Operaâ€™s servers at present.