American Learning Solutions Raises $1.5 Million Series B Round
By VentureWire Staff Reporters
Englewood, Colo. — American Learning Solutions Inc., a provider of Web-based business graduate degree programs, said that it has raised $1.5 million in Series B funding.
Existing investors Vanderbilt University and Nashville-based investment firm Solidus Co. contributed to the round, said Jeff Benson, associate dean of recruiting and admissions for the company. Additional new and existing investors also contributed to the round, though Benson declined to name shareholders. No single investor led the round, he said.
American Learning has raised more than $2.5 million to date, including the latest round. The company will use the funds to expand its management degree programs at the American Graduate School of Management, the company’s flagship venture. It will also launch an additional Web-based school called Ellis University.
The American Graduate School of Management offers a Masters of Business Administration degree that students complete entirely online. The coursework ranges from 14 months to two years and costs between $19,500 and $24,000, Benson said. Ellis University will focus on management programs in fast-growing and traditionally underserved sectors such as life sciences, health administration and criminal justice.
Based in Englewood, Colo., American Learning has an administrative staff of roughly eight, and a 20 member faculty. Earlier this month, the company added Dan Coholan and Craig Leipold to its board of directors. Coholan is the head of the Royal Bank of Canada’s Capital Markets’ Communications, Media and Technology Investment Banking practice. Leipold is the owner of the Nashville Predators and serves on the National Hockey League’s executive committee. He also formed Powers Management Corp., which is responsible for the day-to-day operations and management of the Gaylord Entertainment Center.
Other directors include Joe Wyatt, chancellor emeritus of Vanderbilt University; Townes Duncan, president of Solidus Co.; Richard Oliver, a professor of strategic and global management at Vanderbilt University; Ben Rechter, president of Rogers Group Investments Inc.; Thomas Sherrard is a lawyer and a founding partner of Sherrard & Roe PLC. American Learning was formed in 2000 as a Vanderbilt University Technology Company. The founders include Wyatt, Oliver and former U.S. Secretary of Education Lamar Alexander.
Benson said the company would likely raise additional funds later this year.
2005 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All rights reserved.