Element K Raises $16M in Additional Funding; Latest Round of Funding Brings Total Amount of Equity Raised to More Than $200 Million

December 13, 2001

Element K recently announced the completion of a $16 million financing led by primary investor Wasserstein & Co., LP.

This infusion of capital will enable Element K to advance its leadership position in the e-learning market through ongoing development of innovative products, including additional enhancements to its state-of-the-art e-learning platform, KnowledgeHub, which provides powerful learning management capabilities and optimizes integration of Element K’s born-on-the-Web e-learning courses with classroom-based learning. Element K will also continue to build upon its unique position as a provider of a comprehensive library of IT e-learning courses and IT instructor-led training courseware with consistent content and instructional design across media.

In addition to Wasserstein & Co., investors in this financing included Rustic Canyon Ventures and other existing shareholders. This latest round of funding brings the total amount of equity raised by Element K to more than $200 million since February 2000, when an investor group led by Wasserstein & Co. purchased Element K from Ziff-Davis.

“Our ability to secure growth capital in the current environment is a testament to Element K’s continued performance in the e-learning marketplace. This investment demonstrates a strong confidence in our business model and the future of the organization,” said Bruce Barnes, CEO of Element K. “This financing will enable us to accelerate our platform and content development, furthering our commitment to providing the most robust and engaging learning experience.”

Robert Fogelson, director of Wasserstein & Co., also commented on the investment, “Element K has secured a strong leadership role in the IT training industry and is clearly positioned to be a long-term leader in the space. Element K’s revenues have scaled to $100 million per year, allowing them to invest aggressively in product development, technology and customer service. That level of success is enabling them to continue to move further ahead of the competition. We are pleased to be leading a group of very supportive investors who are committed to ensuring that Element K rapidly achieves its goal of becoming the premier provider of e-learning solutions to businesses, educational institutions and government agencies.”

About Element K

Founded in 1982, Element K is a leading provider of e-learning solutions for information technology and business skills training serving Fortune 1000 companies, universities, government organizations and individuals. A pioneer in IT training, courseware development and e-learning, the company’s Web site (www.elementk.com) offers subscribers in 144 countries 24/7 access to more than 800 online courses on a wide range of IT and business topics. These include office productivity, design and media, computer programming, Web development, databases, hardware networks and operating systems, Cisco internetworking and telephony, as well as e-business, project and business management, and workplace safety. Element K’s integrated online solutions feature instructor-led online courses, self-paced tutorials, a comprehensive reference library and dynamic interaction with experts and peers. The company also hosts an online learning environment integrated with a powerful learning management system. More information on the company can be found at www.elementk.com.

About Wasserstein & Co.

Wasserstein & Co., LP is a New York and California based merchant banking firm engaged in a variety of private equity activities including leveraged buyouts and venture capital investments. The firm’s leveraged buyout transactions are conducted through its U.S. Equity Partners, L.P. investment fund, which specializes in the media, consumer products and business services areas, among others. Representative transactions include All-Clad Cookware, American Lawyer Media Holdings, Element K, Odwalla Inc., Maybelline and The Daily Deal.

About Rustic Canyon Ventures

Rustic Canyon Ventures is a $550 million investment fund based in Santa Monica, California, focusing on business applications and infrastructure, communications, efficient energy products and services, and other technology-oriented, high growth industries. The fund provides its portfolio companies not only with financial support, but also management expertise in both the Internet/technology and traditional business sectors. Recent investments include Allegro Networks, Visto, EM4, Yellowhirt and Envenergy.