One month ago, when online learning site lynda.com announced that it had raised $103 million in its first venture round since launching in 1995, we noted that the company would be well-positioned to buy up other companies in its space. On Wednesday, the Carpinteria, Calif. company said it had started doing just that.
To reach international learners and provide courses in different languages, lynda.com said it had made its first acquisition, buyingvideo2brain, based in Graz, Austria. Launched in 2002, the company has provided online courses in web design, programming and other computer skills in multiple languages. It has more than 400,000 subscribers who access the courses via DVD or single-course downloads.
“This is very much like lynda.com, but the lynda.com of Europe and in German, French and Spanish [and English],” said CEO Eric Robison, adding that video2brain was similarly self-funded and shared the company’s culture. Europe’s online learning market isn’t as competitive as in the U.S., but Robison said it is an active space and that video2brain was the dominant player. The company declined to share financial details but said it will add 60 people and about 1,700 new courses in the acquisition.
For most of the last year, as more startups, like Codecademy, LearnStreet, Treehouse and others have launched to offer online classes on business and computer skills, 17-year-old lynda.com has kept a fairly low profile. But its newly-filled coffers now make it a very interesting company to watch — unlike startups just figuring out its business model, the company has been profitable for most if its existence and has figured out to how to attract a strong subscriber base of individuals, corporations and academic institutions.
When the company announced its funding last month, Robison indicated that it would ramp up growth internationally and into new content areas. This acquisition addresses both of those goals and shows that the company isn’t biding its time. But as the company continues to eye other international regions and content areas, it could acquire even more.