Mail.ru Group announces the merger of the educational platform SkillFactory with Skillbox and GeekBrains. With SkillFactory joining Skillbox Holding Limited (part of the VK ecosystem), which already unites Skillbox and GeekBrains, the consolidated company will be in an even stronger position on the Russian online education market.
Skillbox acquired a stake in SkillFactory online education platform. Prior to the deal, Mail.ru Group owned a minority stake of 18.31% in SkillFaсtory and an option to purchase additional shares with a plan to use it in the second half of 2021. After all transactions (including the option) Skillbox will hold a controlling stake in the service — 61.8%. The founders and top management of SkillFactory remain minority shareholders.
As a result, SkillFactory will become part of the company, which already unites Skillbox and GeekBrains platforms. This will be the next step in implementing the integrated company's strategy — to become a leader in the Russian online education market. Over 1,000 courses in dozens of various fields are already available to users, and with the addition of SkillFactory, the choice will become even wider.
SkillFactory focuses on professional training and higher education segments. The service includes an online school for specialists working with data and IT products, Contented design platform for creatives, Zavtra.Online remote master’s programs, and Product LIVE school for product management. The total number of students in all SkllFactory courses is over 100,000 people. The company's revenue rose by 3.4x YoY and reached RUB 638mn in 2020.
SkillFactory will continue to develop educational projects under its existing brand. SkillFactory co-founder and CEO Alexander Eroshkin will continue to lead the company along with other co-founders.
“Our goal is to help 10 million people learn various skills by 2023 through all our ongoing educational projects and initiatives. Merging SkillFactory with a company that already includes GeekBrains and Skillbox is an important step in this direction. The VK ecosystem brings together educational projects for people of various ages. SkillFactory will strengthen the segment for adults who want to get or change their profession,” Mail.ru Group CEO Boris Dobrodeev said.
“SkillFactory shows good results and has a very strong team. Their business and methodology are different from ours, and for Skillbox it’s important to bring together within the holding the best expertise in the market. We are happy about this deal and certain that we will enrich each other and get stronger,” said Dmitry Krutov, CEO and founder of Skillbox.
“We are delighted to join the largest and the strongest player in the online education market. We believe that together we will be able to grow faster and become even more efficient than each company individually,” CEO of SkillFactory Alexander Eroshkin said.