A couple of months back, Prosus — the international assets holding arm of South African multinational Naspers, raised $15M (approx €12.3M) from the sale of shares in Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd to grow its war-chest for new deals.
Fast-forwarding two months, Prosus buys out Stack Overflow.
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The Amsterdam-listed company has struck a $1.8B (approx €1.5B) deal to acquire Stack Overflow, a Q&A website for professional and enthusiast programmers. The co-founder of Stack Overflow – Jeff Atwood and Joel Spolsky, took the micro-blogging site Twitter to break the news.
What is Stack Overflow?
Founded by Jeff Atwood and Joel Spolsky in 2008, Stack Overflow helps users get answers to the toughest coding questions, share knowledge with their coworkers in private, and find their next dream job.
The company’s products include the SaaS knowledge sharing and collaboration platform, Stack Overflow for Teams, in addition to Stack Overflow Reach & Relevance, which is focused on advertising.
Organisations such as Bloomberg, Microsoft, Expensify, Zapier, and more partner with Stack Overflow to help them centralise information, increase efficiency, and build faster.
To date, the company has raised $153M (approx €126M) in funding. Its Series E, announced in July 2020, was an $85M (approx €70M) round led by GIC. The New York-based company has more than 100M visitors across the world every month.
According to the press release, Prosus can help accelerate Stack Overflow’s growth ambitions, with a particular focus on reaching a wider international community, while also further scaling the company’s Teams product to position Stack Overflow at the centre of product and technology development within major enterprises globally.
Why this acquisition?
The strategic acquisition is seen as an attempt to strengthen Prosus’ position in the edtech sector and expand its footprint. Post the acquisition, Stack Overflow will continue to operate independently with its current team.
According to Prosus, it is focused on building businesses in the online classifieds, food delivery, payments and fintech, and education technology sectors in markets including India, Russia, and Brazil.
Through its venture arm, Prosus invests in areas such as health, logistics, blockchain, and social commerce. Prosus has invested in several companies in edtech, including Udemy, Brainly, and Byju’s.
The Amsterdam connection
A couple of years back, Prosus opened its global headquarters in Amsterdam post its Euronext listings. Prosus’s CEO Bob Van Dijk and members of the senior leadership team are based in The Netherlands. In addition to that, the South African company’s Product and Growth team and Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning team are based out of Amsterdam too.
Besides the primary listing in Amsterdam, Prosus, a spin-off from Cape Town-based Naspers Ltd, has secondary listings on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and a2X Markets.
Larry Illg, CEO of EdTech at Prosus, says, “We are delighted to be welcoming Stack Overflow to the Prosus family as we increasingly focus on the future of workplace learning. Learning of any kind typically begins with a question, and their platform is critically important for global developers when they have questions about their work. There is an opportunity to connect more deeply with their community through our other education platforms to further fulfil their learning needs.”
Illg continues, “With enduring skills shortages and ever-evolving needs within technology organisations, technology training has emerged as the largest and fastest-growing segment of corporate learning and development. As an operator of businesses across 90+ countries, we understand the needs of technologists and developers, particularly in high-growth markets. In addition to further scaling its community in the markets we know well, we want to help Stack Overflow Teams to expand within enterprises to address an underserved opportunity to transform their technology learning and collaboration.”
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