Leadership Symposium Early Bird Deadline Approaching | Join K-12 leaders nationwide for three days of empowering strategies, networking, and inspiration! Discounted pricing ends March 1. Register today.

Education Inc.

July 14, 2004 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Going Public

The educational software and services company Blackboard Inc. went public last month, and its initial public offering of $14 a share had surged by 43 percent, to $20.01 a share, by day’s end, raising $77 million.

Blackboard, which provides academic-learning software primarily to colleges but is aggressively expanding into the K-12 and overseas markets, agreed to sell more than 3.6 million shares. Its stockholders agreed to sell another 1.8 million shares.

Blackboard stock closed at $20.46 a share last Wednesday.

“They’re really well positioned now to expand their footprint,” said Matthew Stein, a senior analyst at Eduventures Inc., a Boston-based research firm that tracks K-12 and higher education businesses.

Wall Street’s enthusiasm for the Washington-based Blackboard seemed to reflect the heady days before the tech bubble burst in 2000, when IPOs routinely generated hundreds of millions of dollars. Trading under the symbol BBBB, Blackboard posted the second-highest gains in its first day of trading among technology-company IPOs so far this year, according to New York City-based Thomson Financials, a financial data research firm.

However, what may be a little unusual in light of the IPO is that Blackboard Chairman Matthew S. Pittinsky and President Michael L. Chasen sold upwards of $1 million of their company’s stock before the company went public. Company founders do not often sell their stock before taking their company public. As a result, a handful of venture-capital investors control a bulk of the company’s shares.

The biggest investors include the Internet Capital Group, a Wayne, Pa.-based venture-capital firm, with a 12 percent share.

Over the past year, Blackboard’s revenues have grown by more than 30 percent, from $69.9 million to $92.5 million. The company also cuts its losses from $41.7 million in 2002 to $1.4 million last year.

“What will be interesting to see is whether or not someone will come along … and provide an equal if not better [software] platform with a lot less money,” said Mr. Stein.

Rhea R. Borja

A version of this article appeared in the July 14, 2004 edition of Education Week as Education Inc.


Jobs Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Reading & Literacy Webinar
Science of Reading: Emphasis on Language Comprehension
Dive into language comprehension through a breakdown of the Science of Reading with an interactive demonstration.
Content provided by Be GLAD
English-Language Learners Webinar English Learners and the Science of Reading: What Works in the Classroom
ELs & emergent bilinguals deserve the best reading instruction! The Reading League & NCEL join forces on best practices. Learn more in our webinar with both organizations.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: February 7, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: January 31, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated: January 17, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education In Their Own Words The Stories That Stuck With Us, 2023 Edition
Our newsroom selected five stories as among the highlights of our work. Here's why.
4 min read
102523 IMSE Reading BS
Adria Malcolm for Education Week