operaNorway-based company Opera which develops data-compressed web browsers, app storefronts, and other cloud-based services for mobile and other platforms — has made another acquisition to build out Mediaworks, its mobile advertising subsidiary.

It has bought AdVine, a mobile advertising network founded in Cape Town, South Africa that works provides ads currently to a variety of large and small publishers in the region, including the BBC, MTN and Opera itself.

The terms of the deal have not been disclosed. This is Opera’s first acquisition in Africa.

The best-known products are its Opera browsers, which are available for both smart and higher-end feature phones, and offer users a web experience that Opera says is faster than other browsers, and — because of data compression algorithms — uses less data.

That resonates particularly in emerging markets, where mobile handsets have become the primary computers for many people, and while data is dear, smartphone use is growing much faster than in mature markets. (For this reason, emerging markets have also become a huge focus for other mobile-focused companies like Google and Facebook.)

Opera gets over 2.6 billion ad requests per month from the region and reach more than 50 million consumers there today, but “we expect that number to more than double in the next year,”

The company has been focused on how it can tap better into the mobile explosion in regions like Africa for a while now. South Africa and Nigera are in the company’s top 20 markets when it comes to mobile ad impressions.

The other key thing about AdVine is that it focuses on premium advertising. This is an area where Opera has been pushing hard to expand, most recently buying AdColony in June, and before that Apprupt in Germany.

Source: Tech Crunch