DENVER – eCollege.com, a creator of online education platforms, went public December 15, offering 5 million shares at $11 apiece. The company’s stock priced just above its $8 to $10 filing range.
Underwritten by Banc of America Securities LLC, William Blair & Co. and Prudential Volpe Technology, the initial public offering left 14.7 million shares of stock outstanding.
There were no selling shareholders. Venture backers included Blumenstein/Thorne Information Partners LLC, MediaOne Interactive Services Inc., New World Equities Inc. and VSI Holding Inc.
eCollege.com’s software and services allow colleges and universities to outsource the creation, launch and management of online education platforms. The company offers complete online campuses, including courses and course supplements, as well as administration, faculty and student support.
The company plans to use the expected $50.2 million generated from the IPO to repay debt, for capital expenditures focused on increasing hosting capacity and infrastructure, and for working capital, including sales and marketing, and product development. The company also might use a portion of the proceeds to acquire complementary businesses, products, services or technologies.
eCollege.com has never been profitable, losing $615,000 in 1997 and $7.3 million in 1998.
Christopher Girgenti, a senior managing director at New World Equities, joined the company’s board of directors in June 1997. Jack Blumenstein and Oakleigh Thorne, co-presidents at Blumenstein/Thorne, joined the board in February 1998. Jeri Korshak, a vice president of strategy at MediaOne, followed in February 1999.
eCollege.com – Selected Financial
(in thousands, except per share data)
July 26, 1996 (inception) Year Ended December 31 Nine Months Ended September 30
to December 31, 1996 1997 1998 1998* 1999*
Total revenue 22 1,028 1,665 1,041 2,916
Net loss -404 -615 -7,290 -4,199 -11,365
Net loss per share -0.16 -1.58 -0.93 -2.57