YY, the interactive video platform, announced today it would acquire two business divisions of Shanghai Global Career Education Science & Technology Holding Company which operate edu24ol.com, an online school for vocational education and English training, for approximately RMB120 million (just under US$20m).
edu24ol.com has about 700,000 registered users. Over half of its total revenues comes from two subjects, architecture and construction engineering. The site also offers courses in finance, accounting and medicine.
Before the deal, YY had acquired an education startup led by Zheng Renqiang, one of the top-selling teachers on YY’s Education platform, as reported by JMDEdu, a local news site focused on education. Zheng’s team, specializing in preparing students for the IELTS exam, joined the YY platform in May 2013.
Following efforts in music and gaming, YY has been trying to expand its interactive video platform in the education sector, encouraging teachers to teach live on its platform by sharing income from courses they teach. Currently the YY Education platform covers professional qualifications, IT training, language learning and K-12.
Earlier this year YY launched a separate project called 100.com, which currently focuses on English tests for study abroad, such as IELTS and TOFEL. Earlier this month 100.com announced it would establish an online school for English learning. 100.com’s mobile app was launched earlier in September this year. In August, YY unveiled an open platform for K-12 education.
With web-based and mobile infrastructures in place, what YY lacked was educational content. Previously YY had said they would hire teachers or cooperate with educational organizations. Now YY has acquired some of the best teachers on its platform and the edu24ol acquisition will obviously add more categories to its offerings.
Editing by Mike Cormack (@bucketoftongues)