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  • Maryland Venture Capital Companies

    February 10th, 2008 No comments

    New Investors ABS Capital Partners and The Washington Post Company Attracted to Compelling Education Marketing Solution

    CourseAdvisor, Inc., a premier online lead generation and marketing solutions provider for the postsecondary education market, announced that it had completed a $12 million investment in its first institutional round of financing. The investment was led by ABS Capital Partners, a leading Maryland private equity firm focused on investing in established and profitable growth companies, and The Washington Post Company, a diversified media and education company whose principal operations include newspaper and magazine publishing, television broadcasting, cable television systems, electronic information services, and educational and career services. The financing will be used to fund the Company’s continued rapid growth by increasing investment in its sales force and strengthening its balance sheet. As a result of the financing, Deric Emry, a General Partner at ABS Capital, will join CourseAdvisor’s Board of Directors. Ralph Terkowitz, also a General Partner at ABS Capital and Caroline Little, chief executive officer and publisher of Washingtonpost. Newsweek Interactive, will serve as observers on the Company’s Board of Directors.

    “As more and more adult learners return to school, they are increasingly researching their education options online in a very detailed way. At the same time, postsecondary education providers want to more effectively reach these students and are using a larger portion their marketing dollars for direct and relevant internet-related channels that will deliver results,” said Greg Titus, CEO of CourseAdvisor. “We believe that the addition of ABS Capital and the Washington Post will help us to continue to supply our customers with best-of-breed student acquisition solutions and introduce more schools to CourseAdvisor’s marketing capabilities.”

    With over 1.5 million unique visitors per month, CourseAdvisor has become a leading online education directory (OED). The Company has significant technological advantages which enable it to manage complex search campaigns to source high quality leads. Since all site visits are generated from paid and organic search, each visitor is actively seeking information about colleges, universities and career and professional training. In addition, the Company’s advanced technology platform with superior filtering capabilities offers student profiling, geo-targeting and multi-stage data verification to maximize lead quality for CourseAdvisor’s customers.

    “CourseAdvisor has demonstrated tremendous growth in the time we have gotten to know the Company and it is clear that they are offering a solution that is both financially and strategically meaningful to their customers,” said Deric Emry, General Partner at ABS Capital. “We believe the Company will continue to benefit from the continued transformation of marketing and advertising budgets, which are moving from traditional, broadcast-related campaigns to more performance-based solutions.”

    “In our business, we have seen that increasing demand for skilled professionals, as well as an appreciation of the potential earnings premium associated with a postsecondary education, has driven adult learners back to school,” said Caroline Little, chief executive officer and publisher of Washingtonpost Newsweek Interactive. “CourseAdvisor is offering a crucial service by driving highly qualified student leads to a growing number of colleges and universities.”

    ABS Capital Partners is a private equity firm that was founded in 1990 to invest in mid- to later-stage growth companies in order to create significant, market-leading companies. The firm’s investment strategy focuses on companies in the business services, health care, technology and media & communications sectors. ABS partners with strong management teams to help build businesses with substantial revenues, near-term profitability and solid customer bases. The firm has created long-term value for management and investors. ABS leverages over 100 years of combined investing and operating experience among its partners and provides a range of investment structures, including expansion financing, management buyouts and recapitalizations. With an extensive history and knowledge of equity and mergers & acquisitions markets, ABS Capital provides strategic guidance and helps companies to capitalize on their business opportunities. ABS has $1.5 billion under management and nine investing partners within offices in Baltimore, San Francisco and Boston. Over the past fifteen years, ABS has invested in over 70 portfolio companies, including American Public Education, Inc., DoubleClick, Inc., NeuStar, Inc., Rosetta Stone, Inc. and Vibrant Media, Inc..

    For more information, contact www.abscapital.com.

    The Washington Post Company is a diversified media and education company whose principal operations include newspaper and magazine publishing, television broadcasting, cable television systems, electronic information services, and educational and career services.

    For more information, please visit www.courseadvisor.com

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