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KnowledgePlanet Raises $47M

KnowledgePlanet is closing a $47 million round of financing with a group of leading technology investors including GE Equity, HarbourVest Partners, DHM Arcadia Partners, First Union Capital Partners and AIG Horizon Partners. The new financial support marks the largest round of funding secured by the company to date.

The Reston, Va.-based KnowledgePlanet will use the funds to accelerate sales and marketing initiatives globally, specifically the build-out of the business infrastructure required to support the company's continued rapid growth; entry into new geographic markets such as Europe and Asia; and further penetration of vertical industry markets including financial services, energy, high technology and pharmaceutical.

KnowledgePlanet's web-based Workforce Performance Management software, delivered through an always-on application services provider (ASP) model, provides the core infrastructure necessary for Global 2000 companies to assimilate business-based learning strategies into the culture of their organizations.

"We are extremely excited about the potential this funding brings to KnowledgePlanet and our ability to continue delivering innovative solutions for human capital development," said KnowledgePlanet Chief Executive Officer Alan Todd. "This funding reflects investor confidence in our distinctive software solutions and our ability to exploit eLearning and workforce performance management market opportunities."

GE Equity, the private equity arm of General Electric Co., and DHM Arcadia Partners co-led this round of financing.

"With its comprehensive learning management system, KnowledgePlanet is well positioned to be the primary delivery channel for innovative eLearning to the desktops of the Fortune 500," Elliot Royce, senior vice president of GE Equity, said. "The backing by these leading investment firms reflects our belief in KnowledgePlanet's strong management team, innovative Internet application suite and sound business model."

KnowledgePlanet's customers include leading global companies such as Avon, BMW, Booz-Allen & Hamilton, Chevron, Cracker Barrel, Fidelity Investments, General Motors, Glaxo Wellcome, Hershey Foods, Marsh McLennan, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, Nike, Northwestern Mutual, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Prudential and Zurich Financial. The company has offices throughout the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

GE Capital, with assets of more than $345 billion, is a global, diversified, financial services company with 28 specialized businesses. A wholly owned subsidiary of General Electric Co., GE Capital, based in Stamford, Conn., provides equipment management, mid-market and specialized financing, specialty insurance and a variety of consumer services, such as car leasing, home mortgages and credit cards, to businesses and individuals around the world. GE is a diversified services, technology and manufacturing company with operations worldwide.

HarbourVest Partners was established in 1982, and is now one of the largest private equity investment firms in the world, managing assets of more than $10 billion. HarbourVest has developed expertise in the areas of Internet infrastructure, networking, telecommunications and software. In the last two years, the company has deployed more than $500 million in over 40 growth stage enterprises. The firm currently has investments in the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia and Latin America.

Previous investments include Centra Software, Clarus Corp., Commtouch Software, Ceragon Networks, Esprit Telecom Group PLC, Daleen Technologies, Digital Insight, Manugistics, NETCOM On-Line, Network Engines, Radware, Trintech Group PLC, UUNET Technologies, Via Net.Works and Vixel Corp. HarbourVest has offices in Boston, London and Hong Kong.