BIGCHALK Secures $43.3 Million in Funding to Fuel Company Growth

March 7, 2001

NEW YORK, NY –, inc. (, the trusted K-12 online education network, today announced that it has closed $43.3 million in Series B financing. New investors for this round are SOFTBANK Ventures, Inc.; Bell & Howell Information and Learning, a founder of bigchalk; Investment Group of Santa Barbara; and William E. Oberndorf, the Chairman of bigchalk and Core Learning Group.

The original Series A investors — TBG Information Investors, Core Learning Group, Patricof & Co. and Frank Bonsal (founder of New Enterprise Associates) — participated in this round. Proceeds from this round will be used for sales and marketing, business development and strategic acquisitions and investments.

bigchalk is the leading provider of Internet-based learning tools that support the entire K-12 learning community: educators, parents and students, with both subscription-based and free learning tools. bigchalk’s award-winning products and services include research content, supplementary curriculum, assessment, professional development and Web-community tools.

This additional funding follows shortly after significant joint venture announcements, including bigchalk’s strategic partnership with SOFTBANK Finance Group, to establish bigchalk Japan. This agreement will have SOFTBANK Finance Group distributing bigchalk’s online research services into Japan, as well as help fuel bigchalk’s international expansion. Additionally, bigchalk recently formed partnerships with NPR, Colonial Williamsburg,, Fablevision, Lyceum Communications,, ApexLearning, and NTS/Brainium, to expand its offerings, and ensure the entire learning community benefits from supplementary and value-adding tools and services.

“Given what has been going on in the markets in recent months, we are extremely pleased with the current investment in bigchalk as it clearly validates our vision and our business model,” stated Jack Lynch, chief executive officer of bigchalk. “For the last year, bigchalk has established itself as the leading education destination for teachers, parents and students and this round will allow the company to continue to strengthen its position in the market and to deliver the highest quality education services and products. As I have stated in the past, our mission continues to be to make a difference in education – this round will put us that much closer to achieving that goal.”

About bigchalk, The Education Network™

bigchalk is a comprehensive education destination for the K-12 learning community, with both subscription-based and free learning tools for educators, parents and students. bigchalk’s vast array of research content, supplementary curriculum, assessment, professional development and Web-community tools provide access to unparalleled instructional resources. bigchalk was recently named a Gold Award 2001 Winner by Curriculum Administrator Magazine.

Among the bigchalk suite of tools is bigchalk Library, a research database designed for ease-of-use and ease-of-search, containing 2500 multi-media resources, magazines, and newspapers. Other research products include the acclaimed ProQuest(r) products, each of which provides uncompromising coverage for every research need; eLibrary™, an easy-to-use Web reference tool for students of all ages; and bigchalk Retriever™, which delivers integrated search tools to Libraries. bigchalk is the educational distributor or exclusive educational distributor for offerings from, Lyceum Communications (Get A Clue), Generation YES, Fablevision,, ApexLearning, NTS/Brainium (Science Brainium), and

ExplorAsource™, a free online service, helps educators and parents quickly find resources that address learning needs and educational standards. HomeworkCentral™ is a free learning database linking and organizing the world of the Web for students in a safe and grade-appropriate environment. More information on bigchalk can be found at:, Electric Library, ExplorAsource, HomeworkCentral and bigchalk Retriever are trademarks of bigchalk. ProQuest is a registered trademark of Bell & Howell Information and Learning. Other company names and product names may be trademarks of their respective companies.

Contact Information:

Nan Halperin


Fiona McClelland

Connors Communications