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Frances McCaughan of Tribune Ventures reports that in 1999, $400 million in private capital was invested in education -related companies. Some companies are using Internet technology to overhaul the way schools function. John T. Chambers, CEO of Cisco Systems Inc., recently observed, "the next big killer application for the Internet is going to be education. Education over the Internet is going to be so big it is going to make e-mail usage look like a rounding error."
Others are trying to build nationwide chains of private, for-profit branded schools. The 1999 initial public offering of Edison Schools, Inc. raised $122 million. Comments from Wall Street have been mixed but most analysts nevertheless regard it as a milestone for the "for -profit" education industry.
Total 1998 revenue for the for-profit education industry was roughly $82 billion ($24 billion for products, $30 billion for services and $28 billion for schools of various types).