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E-Trade Takes Stake in ePlay

Financial firm E*Trade Group Inc. Thursday invested $1 million to support start-up children's site ePlay Inc.

The investment was made specifically to help privately-held ePlay launch version 2.0 of its site, ePlay.com, the firms said. ePlay provides services for kids, parents and teachers including: school and learning products; edutainment software and tutoring, as well as an online store.

"We enthusiastically support the launch of ePlay's new 2.0 Web site, which represents a smart, creative use of the Internet to help reinvent a critical part of our educational system," said Christos M. Cotsakos, chairman and chief executive officer of E*Trade.

As part of the investment agreement, Tom Bevilacqua, executive vice president of corporate development and strategic investments for E*Trade (EGRP), joined the ePlay board.

In addition to the financial boost, ePlay also formed partnerships with Holcomb's Education Resource, Instructional Fair Group Inc. and World Almanac Books.

ePlay will become the exclusive online supplier of teaching products that Holcomb's currently distributes to teachers and schools, and will ePlay is jointly develop interactive, online activity workbooks with Instructional Fair Group. Its new Resource Library will include selections from the World Almanac company.



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