VK acquires edtech businesses in Russia and Brazil

VK acquires edtech businesses in Russia and Brazil
VK acquires edtech businesses in Russia and Brazil / wiki
By East West Digital News in Moscow November 26, 2021

In the past few months, Russian Internet major VK (previously Mail.ru Group) demonstrated a strong appetite for online education — both in Russia and abroad, reports East-West Digital News (EWDN).

In August the group, partnering with Alexander Galitsky, integrated its properties Skillbox and GeekBrains into a holding called Skillbox Limited. In October, VK completed the move by merging SkillFactory, a data science education startup in which it invested in 2020, with this holding.

VK also took control of Brazilian company Mentorama (buying a 90% stake) and became a shareholder of Russian company Umschool (25% stake). The former is an online school for such subjects as programming, design and marketing); the latter helps pupils prepare their high school exams.

VK put 1.66bn rubles ($22mn at the current exchange rate) in these two transactions, according to corporate statements cited in the media.

Last week, Uchi Group — Russia’s leading online education platform for school pupils, in which VK acquired a minority stake in late 2020 — acquired YaKlass. The terms of this full acquisition were not disclosed. 

This platform generates individualized home assignments for pupils with remote exchanges with teachers. YaKlass claims to serve 12mn kids from some 50,000 schools in Russia as well as Armenia, Austria, Belarus, Germany, India, Kazakhstan and other countries, according to media reports.

YaKlass raised significant amounts of funding soon after its creation, including from Almaz Capital in 2014.  In 2020, the company generated 267mn rubles in revenue (up 262% from 2019) and 98mn rubles in net profit (respectively, $3.7mn and $1.3mn at the average exchange rate of the year).

This article first appeared in East-West Digital News (EWDN), a bne IntelliNews partner publication.