In late July Skolkovo Digital, a tech investment fund managed by Skolkovo Ventures and iTech Capital, led a $6.2mn Series B round in Maximum Education, reports East-West Digital News (EWDN).
The company’s existing investors, Russia Partners and Capman, also participated in the funding deal. They had injected $4mn in Maximum Education in an earlier round, back in 2016.
A resident of the Skolkovo tech hub near Moscow, Maximum Education is a leader in the K-12 and test prep segment in Russia and neighboring countries. Founded in 2013 by Michael Magkov, the company offers 40 training or educational programs – from exam preparation and K-12 support to English language courses to teaching programming and other “digital skills.”
Maximum Education touts its exam preparation approach as an ‘innovative model” based on “the international and local best practices of large-scale education programs involving [advanced] educational technologies.”
The company’s press service told us Maximum Education has developed proprietary technology and content, and that its “controls the full cycle of creation and execution of educational programs.” This methodology has allowed Maximum Education to “create best-in-class educational products and to make the project scalable and applicable to new contexts [while keeping] high quality standards.”
The company claims to employ more than 1,000 teachers, content developers and other professionals and to have taught 130,000 students. The company is profitable, the press service told us, with yearly revenues “exceeding 600mn rubles” (a little more than $9mn at the current exchange rate).
Maximum Education has developed activities,” still in the early stage,” in Belarus and Kazakhstan.
Amid a very fragmented market – still dominated by private tutors and traditional education service providers, – one of Maximum Education’s main online competitors is Foxford. This platform is part of the Netology Group, which is affiliated to Alexey Mordashov’s Severgroup.
Among other large investors in Russian online education are the state-owned fund of funds RVC, the PE fund Baring Vostok, Mail.ru Group and Softline Ventures Partners. The latter, an investment vehicle of software publisher Softline, has just announced a $300,000 investment in online exam software ProctorEdu.