In 2011, Arkady Rotenberg helped his partners buy the Enlightenment Publishing House, a former Soviet monopoly that produced school books. In the 20 years since the collapse of the USSR, the share of Enlightenment fell from 100% to 35%, but the publishing house remained an important player in the school market. It took only eight years for the new owners to regain their lost positions: by 2018, Enlightenment controlled 70% of the market, and in 2019, after the sale of the last major competitor, the share of companies associated with Rotenberg should reach 95%. In addition, Enlightenment is the largest supplier of equipment for schools, and from this year will also be engaged in their construction. Anastasia Yakoreva, special correspondent of Meduza, tells about how the publishing house built the “administrative monopoly” through contacts in the Ministry of Education and billions of lawsuits.
In 2017, the director of one of the Samara schools prohibited primary school teachers from working with textbooks written according to the methodology of Leonid Zankov, the famous Soviet child psychologist. These textbooks were not included in the list of the Ministry of Education, and the school could no longer purchase them for budget money.
“I was amazed, I worked on them for 20 years, and the children who studied on them feel confident in high school, they can explain, they can prove, they see different options for solving the problem,” says Olga Vinogradova, one of the teachers (name changed at her request). “The parents said: let's learn from them secretly!”
Secretly, Vinogradova didn’t dare to teach children and chose new textbooks from the list of permitted Ministry of Education - this time the Akademkniga Publishing House. But after three years, the ministry removed these textbooks from the list. The teacher again had to rebuild - this time on the books of the Enlightenment publishing house.
Chekhard with textbooks has been going on in Russian schools for the past five years - since a lot of money came to school education.
In 2011, the small publishing house of Olma Media Group, Vladimir Uzun and Oleg Tkach, privatized the Enlightenment publishing house, the former Soviet monopoly, with the money of Arkady Rotenberg. Since then, budget spending on textbooks has grown, the state has begun to buy benefits twice as often, two-thirds of publishers have been excluded from the list of textbooks that schools can buy, and Enlightenment and structures close to it have absorbed almost all competitors.
“Two people [Uzun and Weaver] simply turned all school education in the country under their business,” admires the former top manager of one of the publishing houses. “Almost everything that has been done in education over the past few years is in their interest.”
Now the revenue of the Enlightenment and related structures working in school education is about 30 billion rubles a year. For comparison: the turnover of Ozon, the largest book online retailer in Russia, in 2018, after a record sales growth, amounted to 43 billion.
To achieve such indicators, the new owners of "Enlightenment" took eight years.
Soviet monopoly in the realities of the market
At the end of October 2003, Lyudmila Pomazova, director general of the Drofa St. Petersburg publishing house, was shot dead with her husband in the courtyard of her house. This was the third murder in the company in seven years: before that, the deputy general director of “Bustard” Vladimir Veshnyakov and commercial director Alexander Krutik were shot dead.
The crimes were never solved, but the main version of the investigation was business: textbooks always brought a high and guaranteed income, and “Bustard” won back part of the market after the state “Enlightenment” lost its monopoly on the production of textbooks in 1994.
“Enlightenment, of course, was difficult to survive in the new reality, it could not cope with either print or logistics,” recalls a businessman who was involved in the publishing business at that time. - Then we bought a paper car at night, for cash, we took it to the printing house and watched so that no one else printed anything on it. It was difficult for everyone, but the state "Enlightenment" simply did not understand. How so - no paper? And then the state gave a cry: whoever can, let him print textbooks. ”
Together with the Enlightenment monopoly, centralized procurement of textbooks for schools at the expense of the budget was also canceled. The next almost 20 years, benefits were bought to a large extent with the money of parents, and their teachers chose them. The state only kept a list of recommended textbooks so that children would not get anything openly harmful. The list was updated every year, but it consistently included about one and a half thousand publications.
The 1990s were the heyday of new teaching methods and new textbooks for schools. At that time, for example, a popular mathematics textbook by Lyudmila Peterson appeared. At the same time, textbooks began to be published on the methodology of Zankov, a student of the famous Soviet psychologist Lev Vygotsky.
“Bustard” began to entice good authors to itself and buy up the rights to Soviet textbooks. By the beginning of the 2000s, the bustard's share in the school market was approaching Enlightenment. “Bustard then made everyone shake up,” says Dmitry Ivanov, former director general of Olma Media Group (this company was subsequently bought by the Enlightenment publishing house).
However, the Enlightenment was gradually recovering from the shock of the 1990s. At the beginning of the 2000s, the publishing house had a new general director, Alexander Kondakov, the son of Mikhail Kondakov, the former Soviet deputy minister of education. He managed to put things in order, launch several new lines and even develop electronic textbooks. Kondakov reinvested all his profits: the Enlightenment was still state-owned.
By 2010, the bustard and Enlightenment market shares were 30% and 35% respectively. But in 2011, the state decided to put Enlightenment on privatization.
“We study judo with Vladimir Putin”
The privatization contest Enlightenment was won by a small publishing house, Olma Media Group, which had not dealt with textbooks before. The most notable episode in the life of the publishing house was the release in 2002 of the book of the then president of Russia, "Learning Judo with Vladimir Putin." Soon after, in 2004, co-owner of Olma Oleg Tkach became a senator from the Kaliningrad region.
A few months later, for example, the famous textbook of mathematics by Lyudmila Peterson received a negative conclusion, according to which about a million children were studying in Russia at that time. “This textbook is built on other principles - not on memorization, but on the ability to reason,” says Nazar Agakhanov, captain of the Russian Olympic team in mathematics. “I conducted a survey among the candidates for the national team twice: 23 out of 28 children studied at the primary school using the Peterson textbook.”
Olma paid 2.25 billion rubles for the Enlightenment - this amount was approximately equal to the annual revenue of the Enlightenment and was more than two times the revenue of the Olma itself. The transaction money was helped by Arkady Rotenberg, whom the co-owner of Olma Vladimir Uzun met in the 1990s, he told RBC himself. In 2013, Rotenberg headed the board of directors and became a co-owner of Enlightenment (he owned more than 20% of the shares, the company did not disclose exact shares, in 2017 the representative of the billionaire stated that Rotenberg sold his share, now the owners of the company are unknown - it is registered in offshore).
In an interview with Interfax, Rotenberg called the project "landmark for himself" and "largely not financial." “Although business is also there - there is profit, there are dividends,” he said.
At that time, Rotenberg occupied the first line in the ranking of Forbes kings for several years in a row. In 2013, he received state contracts for 184 billion rubles.
In the sense of money, textbooks were more modest than the construction of gas pipelines, but still they also had prospects. “Almost immediately after the purchase, the new owners commissioned a study from BCG about the market for educational products and services,” says a former Enlightenment employee. “Analysts estimated its volume to be fantastic at the time, 90 billion rubles.” The new leadership of the Enlightenment, he said, decided that it could claim 60 billion of this money. “Of course, we laughed,” recalls the interlocutor of Medusa. “In vain, as it turned out.”
New shareholders quickly made it clear that their main goal is profit. “They reduced editorial staff, cut new lines,” recalls Alexander Kondakov; shortly after the privatization of the Enlightenment, he left the publishing house. - To bring the textbook to the market, it takes four years. Why is this, if you can earn on the old? Probably, a business that focuses on maximum profit has the right to life. But this contradicts the very idea of education. ”
The Enlightenment reported that the development of new textbooks does not stop, and recently the editions Healthy to Be Healthy, Fundamentals of Financial Literacy, and I am the leader of a new generation have already been published. Inspire, live, create ”,“ Fundamentals of infographics ”, the manual“ Information security, or At a distance of one virus. ”
“When I found out that we have dozens of textbooks not only in history, but also in physics or mathematics, then I realized that everything is not very cool with us,” Rotenberg said in an interview with Interfax in 2014.
Publishers that spawned over 20 years really made the market very competitive - 36 companies then claimed 15 billion rubles. However, the new leadership of Enlightenment was clearly going to build an administrative monopoly, and not compete with the product, a source close to the publisher said.
In this, Arkady Rotenberg was helped at once by several circumstances.
Firstly, almost simultaneously with Rotenberg's entry into the publishing business, the state again became the main buyer of textbooks. The Law on Education, adopted in 2012, obliged to provide all children in the country with free textbooks from the budget. “Previously, textbooks were also purchased for budget money, but sometimes they were not enough, parents bought something else. Now the regulatory authorities have begun to monitor this, ”Alexander Kondakov explains. Since then, the market has grown approximately one and a half times - from 15 to 25 billion rubles.
Secondly, the Ministry of Education began to change the rules by which textbooks were included in budget purchases. For a school to buy a textbook, it must be on the federal list maintained by the ministry. Earlier, getting into this list was easy: it was enough to get two positive examinations from the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Russian Academy of Education (RAO).
Now the rules have changed. At the end of 2013, the Ministry ordered all publishers to undergo an additional public examination of textbooks - within a three-month period. Publishers wrote letters to the ministries that with such volumes, experts would have to issue dozens of opinions per day - although on average it takes about a month to prepare one opinion. But officials ignored the outrage.
The examination of the textbook was done by RAO methodologist Lyubov Ulyakhina. She had no relation to mathematics - she taught French and German languages all her life. Her main complaint was that many of the tasks were illustrated by "unpatriotic" fairy-tale characters. “I am not saying that foreign literature is bad,” Ulyakhina explained her conclusion to Kommersant-Money magazine. “But now I will give you a few lines from Gianni Rodari - there one of the heroes lies in the yard and thinks of whom to send for a cold beer.” The heroes from this work are present on the pages of the textbook, and the author suggests that the children are familiar with these heroes. It is not very good that the author insists on Rodari's works. They contain some dubious points. "
Until 2013, the federal list of recommended textbooks included manuals from 36 publishers. There are 12 of them in the new list (excluding corrections and publications in national languages). Almost all the textbooks of the small Obninsk publishing house “Titul”, which produced the books Happy English and Enjoy English, fell under the reduction; books of the publishing house "Fedorov" (published textbooks on the method of Zankov). The reasons were different: discrepancy of names in examinations and on covers, for example, “English” instead of Happy English; violation of the deadlines for submission of documents.
“The publishers were all intimidated, well, they submitted copies instead of the originals, well, they wrote“ Russian language, grade 5 ”instead of“ Russian language for grade 5 ”, but these are our textbooks, the country has been studying them for decades. What happened was a shock for everyone, ”says a former employee of one of the publishers.
"Enlightenment" from the purges of the ministry won. In the following years, the volume of public procurement from him grew three times - from three to nine billion rubles, and revenue doubled - from 8 to 16 billion. Now the publisher receives almost 80% of state money that goes to purchase textbooks: 11-12 billion rubles a year.
Kumovia from the 1990s
Natalya Tretyak, the first deputy minister and lawyer, who began her career in the Committee on Education of St. Petersburg, was responsible for all the changes made by the Ministry of Education at that time.
"[The then Minister of Education, Dmitry] Livanov was always more interested in higher education than teachers and general education," says a former senior education manager at Enlightenment. Livanov refused to communicate with Medusa.
Publishers tried to sue, but the legal department of the ministry, which was supervised by Tretyak, won all the courts. Although the chances were not always absolute. For example, the publishing house "Fedorov" the ministry refused to be included in the federal list because of notarized copies instead of the original examinations (by law these are interchangeable things), but the arbitration court for some reason nevertheless sided with the officials, giving, in fact, a different basis rejection: the fact that the title on the cover of the textbook and in the examination did not match.
“Tretiak herself felt sorry for some lines, but she understood that if one was returned to the list, others would have to be returned,” says a former ministry official who worked with Tretiak.
In addition to the Enlightenment, two more publishers, Drofa and Ventana-Graf, which changed their owners shortly before, almost did not suffer from the actions of the ministry at the end of 2013.
The former owner of Bustard, Konstantin Dragan, decided to sell the business just at the same time as the new expertise. He himself says that not because of the new order, but because of health problems: shortly before that, he underwent surgery to bypass the coronary vessel. Prior to this, Drofu tried to buy Enlightenment, but the FAS did not miss the deal.
The group “Eksmo-AST” by Oleg Novikov was able to buy “Bustard”, at that time the largest publishing group in the country. Novikov, Tkach and Uzun had known each other in the book business since the 1990s. Novikov quickly overtook them in commercial publishing. “Eksmo was prepared to take more risks and invest more,” he explains now.
Nevertheless, according to Novikov, the relations between all three businessmen were friendly. “Novikov and Weaver are godfathers,” adds their mutual acquaintance.
After the “Bustard,” Novikov bought Ventana-Graf, the third largest player in the school textbook market with a share of about 10%. Later Novikov combined both publishing houses into the Russian Textbook Corporation and established relations with the Ministry of Education. “The position of the regulator at that time was clear and transparent,” he recalls with nostalgia.
In the following years, Novikov’s “Russian textbook” grew at almost the same rate as “Enlightenment”: almost three times for state orders (from 800 million rubles to 2.2 billion) and twice for revenue (from three to six billion) .
Many popular lines of small publishing houses ended up either in structures close to Enlightenment or in the Russian Textbook. Say, a textbook by Lyudmila Peterson began to be published by Beanom. Knowledge Laboratory ”, owned by the same Cayman offshore as the“ Enlightenment ”(DPK Investment Fund SPC). After the textbook was changed by the publishing house, it was again included in the list, and the unpatriotic illustrations this time did not bother anyone. Enjoy English Obninsk "Title" now publishes "Russian textbook." The company also had an option to buy the lines of the Fedorov publishing house.
Together, Russian Textbook and Enlightenment shared almost the entire educational literature market - in 2018, its volume amounted to 25 billion rubles.
But in 2016, the leadership changed in the ministry. Natalya Tretyak went to work as vice president of Stroygazmontazh Arkady Rotenberg, and the Russian Textbook fell out of favor.
In August 2016, Dmitry Livanov was dismissed ahead of schedule as Minister of Education. Instead, the ministry was headed by Olga Vasilieva, closer to the Enlightenment, who had previously worked in the presidential administration.
Vasilieva was known as the “extreme conservative” - at that time she defended several scientific works on theology and theology, wrote “Vedomosti”. In the ministry, her appointment was perceived as a "course towards isolation."
Relations with the "Russian textbook" with her immediately did not ask. “I remember how I called the reception of Vasilyeva, asked to make an appointment or a telephone conversation to congratulate on the appointment. Nobody called me back then, ”recalls Oleg Novikov. Representatives of the "Russian textbook" are no longer called for meetings on relevant issues, he says. A spokesperson for Vasilyeva told Meduza that the ministry has working contacts with all publishers.
The new minister was well acquainted with Oleg Tkach, co-founder of Olma and the senator, at least since the development of the concept of teaching Russian language and literature, says a source close to Enlightenment. Both Tkach and Vasilieva really were part of the working group.
After Vasilyev was appointed Minister, the full namesake of her sister, Irina Yuryevna Vasilyeva, came to work at the Enlightenment publishing house. On the Enlightenment website, her photo was published and the position indicated was “Project Manager”. An employee of the ministry in an informal conversation does not deny that Olga Vasilyeva’s sister is in the photo. This is also known to two former employees of the publishing house. The publishing house itself said that "they are not commenting on the staff."
What is known about Irina Vasilyeva
“The case when a relative of an official works in a commercial company and an official makes decisions that affect the company is a conflict of interests in its purest form,” said Ilya Shumanov, deputy director general of Transparency International. - This is spelled out in the list of typical cases of conflict of interest from the Ministry of Labor. In this case, the companies should have been transferred to a higher level. ”
The representative of the minister declined to comment. After a call from the Meduza correspondent to the ministry, photos and information about Irina Vasilyeva disappeared from the website of the Enlightenment publishing house.
At the beginning of 2018, everyone was expecting Olga Vasilyeva to resign as minister, recalls a source in the government. “She could not stand the science, Fursenko did not like. And yet she remained, with reduced powers, but remained, ”he says.
In May 2018, President Vladimir Putin divided the Ministry of Education into two parts: the Ministry of Science and the Ministry of Education. The first was transferred to universities and scientific organizations, the second left general and secondary education.
Several Meduza interlocutors in the publishing market are convinced that Olga Vasilyeva retained the post of minister, albeit with a reduced authority, thanks to the lobby of the Enlightenment. However, the interlocutor of Medusa in the government believes that the main role was played rather by the friendship of Vasilyeva with Patriarch Kirill.
The end of the "Russian textbook"
Under Vasilieva, the work of the Ministry of Education with the federal list of textbooks lost the remnants of ingenuity. 300 editions of the Russian Textbook were excluded from the latest edition of the list (published on December 28, 2018), but the share of Enlightenment publications for the first time exceeded half (more than 500 out of 900). This time, only an accountability to the Ministry of RAO did the examination. Despite the protests of the Federal Antimonopoly Service and the Ministry of Justice, and even an open antitrust case, throughout 2019, schools worked on a new list. For the Russian Textbook, this meant that sales would halve, Novikov said. In reality, it turned out to be a little better: sales fell by a quarter.
In addition, in January 2018, Enlightenment filed a record suit of 3.7 billion rubles against Ventana-Graf (part of the Russian Textbook; the company's revenue for 2017 amounted to 2.7 billion - significantly less than the amount claimed) for using the GEF sign: the state standard sign with a red-blue globe was registered on Enlightenment. Rospatent recognized the registration as unlawful, a representative of the department in court said that recognition of the mark as the property of "Enlightenment" is contrary to public interests. However, in August 2019, the Intellectual Property Court declared the decision of Rospatent illegal.
Oleg Novikov says that his relationship with Weaver and Uzun at that moment finally ceased to be friendly and he began to think about selling the business, but the lawsuit frightened potential buyers.
In September 2019, Enlightenment unexpectedly promised to withdraw the lawsuit. Rumors that Enlightenment may gain informal control over a competitor have always been around, but at that moment they became more active, says a top manager of the Russian Textbook.
After a couple of days, as follows from the data from SPARK-Interfax, the Russian Textbook turned out to be “pending fulfillment of obligations” to Rustitaninvest, the company headed by Alexey Kisin. From February 2017 to September 2018, Kisin was the deputy head of the Federal Property Management Agency (with an annual income of 35 million rubles), and before that, he was the director of the Red Square television production owned by Arkady Rotenberg.
“A pledge means that a certain obligation has arisen, for example, to sell the company after the court’s termination,” says Alexey Panich, partner at Herbert Smith Freehills law firm.
On October 15, the arbitration court officially terminated the dispute between the companies, and on October 18, Oleg Novikov told Meduza that Rustitaninvest bought the Russian Textbook for six billion rubles.
Who financed the deal is unknown. Kisin, in an interview with Vedomosti, refused to disclose investors, but assured that Rotenberg was not among them. The representative of Arkady Rotenberg, in response to a request from Medusa for comment, stated that the entrepreneur “has no interests” in the school textbook market.
A couple of days before the "Russian textbook" was laid down, the scientific council at the Ministry of Education recommended that more than 300 textbooks, mainly the editions of the "Russian textbook", be returned to the federal list. But the agency has not yet made the final decision. A source of Medusa in a group of publishers is sure that the ministry was going to return the editions of the Russian Textbook to the list only if the company was sold.
Where to get new money?
After the purchase of the Russian Textbook by Rustitaninvest, the share of companies close to Arkady Rotenberg in the school textbook market will approach 100%. State spending on textbooks may increase in the near future: by the end of 2019, the Ministry of Education should adopt new educational standards, because of which most textbooks are likely to have to be updated. The beneficiary should again be the Enlightenment publishing house.
“The more often textbooks are purchased, the more revenue. But more than once every four to five years, it is no longer possible, ”says a former top manager of one of the publishers. - Where can Enlightenment get new money? If you change the requirements for education, then the textbooks will also have to be updated for them. ”
Educational standards (GEFs) define the basis for school education. The standards adopted in 2010 gave schools freedom in teaching specific subjects - they only recorded what exactly a student should be able to do after each step. At the same time, the previous GEFs were productive - with them in 2016, Russian students showed an increase in the results of reading, mathematical and science literacy in PISA (an international study that assesses how students can apply their knowledge in different life situations).
The essence of this business is that the integrator combines many suppliers into one order and earns discounts from manufacturers - for Education, they make up 40%, he says.
Two years ago, the Ministry of Education began to write a new version of the Federal State Educational Standards, so that a “single educational space” appears in Russia, Vasilyeva explained. “At inter-university seminars, foreign colleagues tell me: you are going against the trend of academic autonomy, why? I explain to them: you see, the country is worried, not everyone remembers when Yuri Gagarin flew into space, ”sighs Igor Remorenko, rector of Moscow State Pedagogical University.
New standards are developed in a short time (two years against nine spent on the development of an educational standard, for example, in Finland), and most importantly, it is still not clear which structure is responsible for their preparation.
Previous GEFs were developed in the second half of the 2000s under the leadership of Alexander Kondakov, who, as the director general of the Enlightenment, headed the Institute for Strategic Studies in Education, a member of the Russian Academy of Education. “I was the author of the previous GEFs, and everyone knew who to ask questions,” Kondakov says. “Who writes these GEFs is not clear to anyone.”
The composition of the working groups on the new GEF in the public domain could not be found. In response to a question from Medusa about who the author of the current Federal State Educational Standards is, the Ministry of Education reported that “the project has been submitted to the Ministry of Education by the country's leading pedagogical universities: the Russian State Pedagogical University, Moscow Pedagogical State University and Moscow City Pedagogical University.” Rector of the Russian State Pedagogical University Sergei Bogdanov, rector of the Moscow State Pedagogical University Aleksey Lubkov and rector of the Moscow State Pedagogical University Igor Remorenko told Meduza that their employees participated in working groups, but they did not own the authorship.
The Enlightenment press service told Meduza that the publisher was involved in the development of standards. “The Russian textbook” was not involved in this process, Novikov said.
If the Federal State Educational Standards are accepted (this should formally happen at the end of 2019), schools will have to reorganize teaching under a strict program for each of the subjects - and purchase updated textbooks, confirms the Moscow State Pedagogical University rector Igor Remorenko. Although from what date will the new standards be introduced is still unknown. “This should be determined by order to approve them,” he says. “No one has seen the draft order yet.”
Not just textbooks
In 2014, Enlightenment announced that it would deal not only with textbooks, but also with supplies of equipment for schools. There is no research on this market, but several suppliers surveyed by Medusa say that Enlightenment is the largest player on it by a wide margin.
Enlightenment structures supply, for example, kits for chemical experiments, virtual reality systems, equipment for robotics classes.
“Schools buy a lot of different things: desks, and boards, and equipment for experiments,” one of the suppliers lists. “As a rule, all this is combined into one large purchase and only a large integrator can participate in such a competition.”
In 2016, the federal program for the construction of new schools was launched in Russia - 2.8 trillion rubles were planned to be allocated from the budget (only about 130 billion were allocated for the first three years). The president of Enlightenment, Vladimir Uzun, then wrote letters to President Vladimir Putin with a proposal to create a state corporation that would oversee this program. “If the state builds schools with specific requirements, we will be able to develop products for them,” he said in an interview with RBC. The state has heard these requests. The Directorate as part of the Ministry of Education, which took up construction, was headed by the former top manager of the Education, Irina Kuznetsova. And after that, the ministry issued an order to equip all new schools, which states what equipment should be in each office - 178 thousand rubles were allocated for one study place.
In 2018, the proceeds of the Trade House Enlightenment-Region and the Trading House Abris (the parent company of both structures - the Cayman offshore DPK Investment Fund SPC, which owns the Enlightenment publishing house) from equipping schools amounted to about ten billion rubles.
In September 2019, it became known that Enlightenment would build a school in Nizhny Novgorod. Seven billion rubles will be spent on this; Gazprombank will finance the construction. The contract with Enlightenment on the part of the bank was signed by Vice President Natalya Tretyak, the former Deputy Minister of Education, who transferred to Gazprombank from Stroygazmontazh Arkady Rotenberg.
Experiments to nothing
“Paper textbooks should no longer worry anyone at all,” said Alexander Kondakov; After leaving Enlightenment, he founded the company Mobile Electronic Education and delivers software products for schools. Kondakov adds: “The paper will bring superprofits for a few more years, but then both parents and students will simply go to the Internet for quality content.”
But just with electronic platforms, Enlightenment has not yet developed.
In 2014, the publishing house launched a large project to create a tablet for Russian schools based on Microsoft, but due to sanctions against Rotenberg, the companies broke the partnership. And in the summer of 2017, Enlightenment announced a partnership with Yandex: companies had to launch an electronic platform for schools, which would provide access to textbooks, homework and grades. Each of the partners had to invest 60 million rubles in the project, while Yandex was responsible for the development, and Enlightenment for methodological and educational materials.
“The role of Enlightenment was that they gave us a digitized mathematics textbook by Maria Moreau and paid some employees a salary,” says a former project employee. According to the employee, the publishing house shifted large expenses like educational exhibitions to Yandex and refused to pay contractors several times.
“Education doesn’t really like to invest at all,” agrees Novikov, the former owner of the Russian Textbook. Under him, the Russian Textbook invested 350 million rubles in five years in an electronic platform for Lecta schools (under the terms of the sale of the Russian Textbook, the platform will also go to new owners). In the "Enlightenment" "Medusa" reported that the company's investment in new products is constantly growing, without giving specific numbers.
In April 2018, Yandex.Enlightenment began testing the platform, and after a few months, the companies suddenly decided to freeze the project. Yandex and Enlightenment, in response to a request, reported that the companies “remain partners,” but even in the summer of 2018, some employees registered in Enlightenment were dismissed without warning one day - and the next day registered in “ Yandex ".
The interlocutor of Medusa, who worked in the project, assumes that it was money: "For Yandex, this project was non-profit, and Enlightenment would not do anything without commercial interest." “Enlightenment was simply not ready to participate operatively in the project,” says another project employee. “They have their own milk cows - the products that bring the most profit, therefore there is not enough motivation for experiments, they are focused on paper production.”