Business: Last year, Chalk.com Network provided computer and technology-related content for the Internet, television, print and in-flight entertainment and radio industries. Its specialty was teaching people how to improve their professional productivity and personal lives through technology. The company’s content was designed primarily for those who are intimidated by computers – or tend not to use them – and to help such people learn about technology in a non-technical way.
Headquarters: Vancouver, Canada
Founded: January 1996
VC raised to date: $8.75
Capital raised one year ago: $5 million
Investors: Tullaree Capital, CML Global Capital, I-Spire and The Walker Group.
Plans one year ago: The company planned to ramp up its product development, expand its content and bolster its marketing efforts. Additionally, Chalk anticipated that it would be self-sustaining by this year, and as such was considering building up its international operations in London and Scandanavia.
Status: The company has since shifted its focus from technology-related content to e-learning. Additionally, since its last round of financing, Chalk has shuttered its San Francisco office and opened new headquarters in Canada.
According to the company’s chief financial officer, Chalk closed that office because it plans to focus more on Canada and less on the U.S.
“In the beginning in 2001, we weren’t making money in the U.S. so we had to cut back on costs,” he said. “That office was expensive so we closed it.”
Additionally, the company has not expanded its overseas operations as originally planned.
Sideware Systems Inc. recently took 66% ownership in the company, however, Chalk is no longer expecting to be self-sustaining by the end of this year and is currently looking for another round of venture financing.