ATLANTA, GA (September 20, 2004) – CWK Network, Inc., a leading multimedia company that creates and distributes reality-based programming focused on the health and well being of children, announced today that it has raised $4.5 million in a Series B equity financing. New York-based The Goldman Sachs Foundation and Louisville-based Chrysalis Ventures co-led the investment. Existing investors include Diamond State Ventures, Cox Communications, Inc. and Dr. Therus Kolff. ELM Capital, an investment bank located in Atlanta, acted as exclusive placement agent for CWK Network, Inc. Stacey and Gary DeWitt founded CWK Network in 1997.
CWK Network’s educational, broadcast-quality programming is exclusively about children. The company produces and distributes half-hour television specials, news stories and 30-second messages to parents in their homes, through local broadcasts on major network affiliates and cable stations. Schools can also access programs through the local television broadcast, as well as purchase accompanying curricula for use in the classroom. CWK Network has secured distribution to more than 65% of all U.S. households through local television stations nationwide. Hundreds of school districts across the country have implemented the educational programming in local classrooms.
While parents watch the television broadcasts at home, their children learn about these same issues in the classroom, with videos accompanied by a full print curriculum developed by educators and child experts. Teachers, students and parents also can link to media partner websites and access CWK for even more information and classroom activities focused on these same issues.
CWK Network is the first company in the media or education markets to successfully develop public/private partnerships among local media, educators and the corporate community at a grass roots level, to impact children’s attitudes and behaviors regarding today’s tough issues.
“We are pleased to partner with Chrysalis Ventures and The Goldman Sachs Foundation for this important round of financing,” says Stacey DeWitt, Chief Executive Officer of CWK Network and Co-Founder of CWK Network.
“Chrysalis brings valuable media and communications industry experience, and complements The Goldman Sachs Foundation’s focus on education. This round of funding and the expertise of our new investment partners offer CWK Network an opportunity to expand our distribution in media and education. Together we can facilitate partnerships among philanthropic organizations, educational institutions and the private corporate sector in an effort to promote excellence in education and improve the lives of children worldwide.”
“CWK has developed a unique niche within the media and communications industry,” says Bob Saunders, Managing Director, Chrysalis Ventures. “We have been very impressed with the management team and the company’s impressive sales efforts to date. This investment fits our media and communications investment strategy as well as Chrysalis’ new investment focus on the education and training sector.”
The Goldman Sachs Foundation’s investment represents its commitment to support excellence in education beyond traditional grant making. The investment comes from its asset base and is part of a broader strategy to seek market returns in for-profit education companies.
Stephanie Bell-Rose, President of The Goldman Sachs Foundation, says, “We seek to align with innovators in education and youth development, and CWK is a strong partner in this effort. We are also confident in the company’s business model and look forward to its continued success in the marketplace.”
Bob Saunders, Managing Director, Chrysalis Ventures, has joined CWK Network’s Board of Directors. Deborah Devedjian, Managing Partner of Copernicus Learning Fund, LP, who partnered in the transaction with The Goldman Sachs Foundation, has also joined CWK Network’s Board of Directors.
About CWK Network, Inc.
CWK Network distributes news, information and educational programming to school districts across the country, and to more than 65% of U.S. households through a network of local television stations and cable partners. The company, based in Atlanta, Ga., with bureaus in San Francisco and St. Louis, is fast becoming the most trusted resource in the market for reality-based programming on children’s issues while serving local communities, educators, school districts and families. CWK Network programming focuses on the health, education and well being of children. The company develops local community action networks that can inspire and create positive social change. CWK Network and its production team have received the television industry’s top journalistic awards, including Prism Commendations, Parent Choice Awards and regional Emmy Awards, among others. For more information, please visit www.connectingwithkids.com.
About Chrysalis Ventures
Founded in 1993, Chrysalis Ventures is a leading source of equity capital for young growth companies in the Southeast and Midwest. Chrysalis invests primarily in early-stage and expansion-stage companies in healthcare information technology and services, media and communications, and education and training. Based in Louisville, Kentucky, Chrysalis has more than $200 million under management and has made investments in more than 40 companies. For more information, please visit www.chrysalisventures.com.
About The Goldman Sachs Foundation
The Goldman Sachs Foundation is a global philanthropic organization funded by The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. The Foundation’s mission is to promote excellence and innovation in education and to improve the academic performance and lifelong productivity of young people worldwide. It achieves this mission through a combination of strategic partnerships, grants, loans, private sector investments, and the deployment of professional talent from Goldman Sachs. Funded in 1999, the Foundation has awarded grants in excess of $54 million since its inception, providing opportunities for young people in more than 20 countries.
About Copernicus Learning Fund
Copernicus Learning Fund invests in education and training companies all around the globe through its four institutional investors. Investments span K-12, post-secondary education, corporate training and human capital management and life-long learning. For more information, please visit www.copernicuslp.com.