The venture capital fund, Early Stage Alternative Fund, which is managed by Svarog Capital Advisors (formerly Renova Capital), has acquired a blocking minority stake in e-learning solution and content provider Competentum, the company recently announced on its corporate web-site. According to business daily newspaper Kommersant, the fund paid just under $10 million for a 35% stake in Competentum.
Founded in 1993 as Physicon, Competentum generated revenues of $10 million in 2007. Its customers include Thomson Learning and Pearson Education in the U.S. as well as VimpelCom, Uralsib, LUKOIL, and Rosgosstraph in Russia. The Russian e-learning market, which grows over 30% per year, is valued at more than $100 million.
In June 2008, Early Stage Alternative Fund acquired a 51% majority stake in PROMT, a St. Petersburg-based machine language translation software and service provider, for $10 million.