Internet incubator Internet Capital Group Wednesday did its part to keep the current B2B momentum going by taking a $25 million stake in a B2B marketplace focused on public education.
Partially owned by former Secretary of Education Lamar Alexander, Simplexis.com will act as a one-stop
marketplace, connecting school officials with their approved suppliers to
procure the goods and services required to operate schools. The dot-com aims
to provide schools with access to the best products and services at the
lowest prices quickly and cost-effectively.
With a mission of saving the U.S. education industry up to $10 billion by
2005, the firm will also provide news, content and community for all
involved in the business of education.
Alexander, a presidential candidate in 1996 and 2000 and former Tennessee governor, founded the company
this year and serves as its chairman. Victor Hwang and John Hamm, managing
directors at ICG, will both join Simplexis.com’s board of directors.
Walter Buckley, chairman and chief executive officer said the deal was one
of many ICG (ICGE)
plans to make in covering as much ground as possible in the marketplace sector.
“Simplexis.com puts us in the very important, and often overlooked, vertical
marketplace of public education,” Buckley said. “Education is one of the untapped markets of the
Internet and we see Simplexis.com as one of the industry’s leading
Wednesday’s deal is likely to be the first of many in the coming months for ICG. Last week, the company created eColony, a firm that expects to finance more than 100 startups in the next 18 months.