Severgroup acquires stake in major Russian online learning company Netology Group from Buran Venture Capital and InVenture Partners

Severgroup, a private investment company that manages the assets of Alexey Mordashov, has announced the acquisition of a stake in Netology Group. The transaction involved Severgroup buying out the shares previously held by Buran Venture Capital and InVenture Partners as well as investing in further share capital of the company. As a result Severgroup’s stake in Netology Group amounts to more than 40%.

Netology Group is a major Russian company which offers a broad spectrum of online learning services. The company was created in 2014 following the merger of Netology, a university for internet professions, and Foxford, an online-school. Netology Group provides services to over 1 million school children, more than 150 thousand school teachers (15% of all teachers in Russia) and in excess of 200 thousand students of internet professions.

Netology Group offers courses across three different strands of education: general school education, vocational courses, and advanced retraining for professionals. The main training formats are online courses and online tutoring for school children and school teachers, computer based professional courses (marketing, design, management, and programming), professional retraining programs and corporate training.

The company has developed a unique, comprehensive online learning platform that offers interactive online classes with teachers from Russia’s leading universities, such as Moscow State University and the Higher School of Economics as well as specialists from major Russian companies (Yandex, Mail.ru, Sberbank). Students have the opportunity to practice on simulators, automatically track their progress and play games. Netology Group’s app has been downloaded more than 1.3 million times.

Over the next 3–4 years, the company is focused on developing a series of social and commercially successful educational projects which will span 15–20 years of a customer’s educational life. Over this period Netology Group is targeting revenues of over 2.5 billion roubles with the expectation that it will gain 5% of the Russian online education market share. Russia’s online education market is currently estimated at 20.7 billion rubles, with anticipated growth potential of up to 53.3 billion by 2021.

Maxim Spiridonov, CEO of Netology Group, said: “The digital revolution in education is making information and expertise accessible to everyone. Via the internet, now everyone has the opportunity to increase their knowledge and develop their skills. At Netology Group our mission is to improve the quality of education and the development of e-learning tools in Russia for children, adults and school teachers. We have major plans for building “a parallel educational universe” which will require substantial investment. We are delighted to now have the support of Severgroup, which is a major long-term, strategic investor.”
Mihaly Szalontay, Managing Partner of Buran Venture Capital, said: “We are delighted to have worked with such a talented and entrepreneurial team. We have supported the company’s successful development to date and wish them continued success going forward!”

Artem Kumpel, Director of HR tech investment at Severgroup, said: “The global education market is valued at billions of dollars and we understand that e-learning has the highest growth potential within the education sector. We are witnessing a significant increase in demand for online education in both Russia and overseas, which is why we decided to invest in Netology Group as the leader in the Russian e-learning market. It has a comprehensive business-model, a strong team already in place and a clear plan for future growth.”

Sergey Azatyan, Managing Partner of InVenture Partners, said: “This deal marks a milestone in the market. This is a successful exit from a tech investment in education, which is one of the most important industries but one of the most difficult for value creation, and we have managed to grow the company in just three years. We congratulate the Netology Group team on their deserved success and are excited about the company’s future.”

Publish Time: 15 august 2017