Enlarge / If you’ve searched for answers to software development questions before, this screenshot is likely to look familiar.
The legendary Q&A site Stack Overflow is being acquired by Prosus NV, Europe’s largest technology investment firm. The two companies signed a definitive purchase agreement yesterday, according to a press release on Prosus’ website.
Stack Overflow is the 46th most active website in the world according to Amazon Alexa Web Analytics. Since 2008, the site has served as the first stop for developers seeking answers to their program-related questions – and ultimately their non-program-related questions, as the Stack Exchange network expanded to include sites in categories such as Culture, Leisure, Art, Science, Business and more.
Prosus will likely be much less known, especially to Americans, as the Amsterdam-listed investment firm has a much lower public profile. Although based in Europe, Prosus invests internationally; for example, it holds the largest single stake in the Chinese gaming and social media company Tencent.
In 2001, Prosus’ parent company, Naspers, bought a 46.5% stake in Tencent for only $ 34 million – but earlier this year, Prosus liquidated a 2% stake in Tencent for $ 14.6 billion and retained a 28.9% stake valued at approximately $ 200 billion. Prosus chairman Koos Bekker said the liquidation of Tencent will “finance continued growth in Prosus’ core and emerging sectors” and “create some scope for acquisitions.”
Stack Overflow co-founder Joel Spolsky blogged about the purchase, and Stack Overflow CEO Prasanth Chandrasekar made a more official announcement. Both blog posts characterize the acquisition as having little to no impact on the day-to-day operation of Stack Overflow.
“The way you use our website and products will not change in the coming weeks or months, and neither will our company’s goals and strategic priorities,” said Chandrasekar.
Spolsky elaborated, saying that Stack Overflow “will continue to operate independently, with exactly the same team that ran it, following exactly the same plan, and following exactly the same business practices. We only have other owners now. “