Jon von Tetzchner, the Icelandic co-founder and longtime lead of Opera Software, was in Brussels yesterday as part of a press tour to discuss his new startup, Vivaldi, which, coincidentally, is a browser software company that at least party competes against Opera.
I caught up with von Tetzchner in the morning, and interviewed him at an event in the evening, and on both occasions the affable entrepreneur shared - for the first time - active user numbers for the new browser him and his team are building (for 'power users', not for everyone).
A little over a month after the release of a stable desktop version of the browser, von Tetzchner says he was particularly pleased with the generally rave reviews and even more so with the positive feedback from users. To be clear, the browser's been a few years in the making at this point.
In an earlier interview with Reuters, he said Vivaldi 'only' needs about 5 million active users to turn a profit, thanks to search and other partnership deals that can generate revenue for the young company.
Yesterday, von Tetzchner told me that Vivaldi's been downloaded 'millions of times', but, more concretely, that the browser is **nearing roughly 1 million active users**. Acknowledging that it's still early days and the launch momentum may have largely been responsible for spurring that rapid growth, the entrepreneur said he's confident that they'll get to a point where they break even.
In the meantime, browser updates are coming in fast and furiously, and the company is also working on an email client and a mobile version of the browser, though a stable version of the latter may still be up to a year away.
And make sure to give the new browser a whirl - it's available for Windows, Mac and Linux.