Stack Overflow sold to technology investor Prosus for $1.8 billion | GeekComparison

If you've ever searched for answers to software development questions, this screenshot probably looks familiar.
Enlarge / If you’ve ever searched for answers to software development questions, this screenshot probably looks familiar.

Jim Salter

Legendary programming Q&A site Stack Overflow is acquired by Prosus NV, Europe’s largest technology investment company. According to a press release on the Prosus website, the two companies signed a definitive acquisition agreement yesterday.

According to Amazon Alexa web analytics, Stack Overflow is the 46th most engaged site in the world. Since 2008, the site has been the first stop for developers looking for answers to their programming-related questions – and ultimately their not-programming-related questions, while the Stack Exchange network of sites expanded into categories including culture, recreation, arts, science, business, and more.

Prosus will likely be much less known, especially among Americans, as the Amsterdam-based investment company has a much lower public profile. Although based in Europe, Prosus invests internationally; for example, it holds the largest stake in Chinese gaming and social media company Tencent.

In 2001, Prosus’ parent company, Naspers, bought a 46.5% stake in Tencent for just $34 million, but earlier this year Prosus liquidated a 2% stake in Tencent for $14.6 billion, retaining a stake of 28.9% worth approximately $200 billion. Prosus Chairman Koos Bekker said Tencent’s liquidation will “finance the continued growth of Prosus’ core business and emerging industries” and create “some room for acquisitions”.

Stack Overflow co-founder Joel Spolsky blogged about the purchase, and Stack Overflow CEO Prasanth Chandrasekar wrote a more official announcement. Both blog posts characterize the acquisition as having little to no impact on Stack Overflow’s day-to-day operations.

“How you use our site and our products will not change in the coming weeks or months, just as our company’s goals and strategic priorities remain the same,” said Chandrasekar.

Spolsky delved into the details, saying that Stack Overflow “will continue to operate independently, with the exact same team that ran it, following the exact same plan and exact same business practices. Don’t expect major changes or awkward ‘synergy’… it The whole company remains intact: we now only have different owners.”

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