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Upromise® Raises $55 Million in Second Round Funding

November 06, 2000
Brookline, MA


UPromise, Inc., the college savings network, today announced it raised $55 million in its second round of funding. The round was led by Hellman & Friedman, with UPromise's first round investors General Atlantic Partners, Charles River Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and General Catalyst, as well as The Goldman Sachs Foundation, participating. This brings UPromise's total capital raised to approximately $90 million. Philip Hammarskjold, managing director of Hellman & Friedman, a San Francisco-based private equity firm, will also join the company's board of directors.

"We are excited to support UPromise, which is responding to a pressing social issue - the rising cost of a college education - with an innovative business model," said Mr. Hammarskjold. "UPromise will help families to save for college while helping businesses to build meaningful, long-term relationships with their customers."

UPromise, in partnership with America's most trusted companies, enables families to accelerate their college savings. Through UPromise, parents create a savings network of family and friends. A portion of the entire network's spending with partner companies is automatically contributed into a professionally managed, tax-advantaged college fund. UPromise will also make it easy for family and friends to contribute their own money, as gifts, to the college fund. The UPromise service will launch nationwide early in 2001.

An affiliated non-profit entity, the UPromise Education Foundation, helps lower-income students and their families afford a college education. UPromise's founder and CEO, Michael Bronner, will contribute the majority of his equity in the company to the Foundation. UPromise president and COO Jeff Bussgang, UPromise management, and investors Hellman & Friedman, General Atlantic Partners, Greylock, Charles River Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and General Catalyst will also contribute a substantial portion of their interest in the company to the Foundation.

"Paying for a college education is the number one concern of parents in this country," said Bill Ford, partner of General Atlantic Partners. "We are pleased to reinvest in UPromise because it has the vision, leadership and momentum to change how families save for their children's college education."

"The quality of our investors reinforces the momentum behind UPromise," said Jeff Bussgang, president and COO of UPromise. "We are readying plans to launch the service to consumers to help them save for college. Together with our partners, we look forward to inciting major change for families".

Portico Capital Securities LLC served as exclusive financial advisor to Upromise, Inc. with respect to this transaction.