The terms of the deal were not disclosed; however, Pluralsight chief executive Aaron Skonnard tells us it’s in the “range of significance” of prior Pluralsight deals TrainSignal and Smarterer, valued at $23.6 million and $75 million respectively.
Offering live mentorship to programmers since 2013, HackHands raised $400,000 in total before the acquisition. Following the deal, HackHands’ chief executive Ed Roman says the site will continue operating as normal for at least a few months, but it will eventually merge with Pluralsight — although Roman asserts “there will be no lapse of service.”
Pluralsight has transformed into a significant acquirer these days, having spent at least $190 million snapping up online education startups over the past two years. Recent deals include the $36 million acquisition of learn-to-code site Code School and an even larger $75 million for skill measurement startup Smarterer.
Both Skonnard and Roman dubbed this deal a key move in Pluralsight’s ability to compete with LinkedIn, which bought elearning juggernaut Lynda.com for $1.5 billion in April. “This move positions Pluralsight as a credible competitor to LinkedIn,” Roman told us by phone yesterday. “The training platform wars are going to come down between LinkedIn and Pluralsight.”
“If you think about the Lynda/LinkedIn combination, this is one of those things that will distinguish us from them over time,” Skonnard told us this morning.