Prosus to acquire Stack Overflow in a $1.8-billion deal

Bengaluru: Prosus NV has struck a $1.8-billion deal to acquire Stack Overflow, an online community for software developers, in what is seen as the e-commerce and technology giant’s first outright buy in the edtech space.

New York-based Stack Overflow operates a Q&A website that is used by software developers—and, increasingly, other professionals—for improving their coding skills. The company claims it has over 100 million monthly visitors.

A Naspers spinoff, Prosus has previously backed several ventures in the edtech space, including Brainly, Udemy and Byju’s. It is also one of the largest backers of e-commerce globally, with a large stake in Chinese e-commerce giant Tencent Holdings.

Post the acquisition, Stack Overflow will continue to operate independently with its current team and will look to rapidly expand its service, including its paid product.

“Once this acquisition is complete, we will have more resources and support to grow our public platform and paid products, and we can accelerate our global impact tremendously,” Prashanth Chandrasekar, chief executive of Stack Overflow, wrote in a blog post, adding that the way people use its website will not change in the coming weeks or months. “This might look more like rapid and robust international expansion, M&A opportunities, and deeper partnerships both on Stack Overflow and within Stack Overflow for Teams.”

As more sectors get transformed by technology, learning associated with technology— especially for professionals—is being looked at as a massive opportunity in the coming decades. Investors are backing all sorts of ideas—from Moocs to players partnering with enterprises to reskill their workforces.

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Disclosure: Times Bridge, which is a part of the Times Group that runs The Economic Times, is an investor in Stack Overflow and also has a strategic partnership with the firm.



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