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First reported by The Chattanooga Times Free Press, Echelon has received a $65 million investment from Goldman Sachs Growth with North Castle Partners’ participation. With this investment, founder Lou Lentine will lose controlling interest in the company but remains the largest single shareholder. Lentine downplayed the changes due to the increase in the value of his stock. When asked about the investment and change, Lentine had this to say:
For the benefit of growing the business and creating an amazing experience for our members. The new valuation increased my stock value tremendously.
The new funding round will go into product development, technology, international expansion, ad campaigns, and celebrity collaboration. The first celebrity collaboration was announced as well. Mario Lopez, one of the stars of Saved by the Bell, will be leading a collection of classes on the Echelon platform.
Echelon plans to launch multiple new products in 2021, expand to a new headquarters in Chattanooga, and see more international expansion in content creation.
There are also plans to significantly increase media spending and brand advertising. Echelon has launched its new marketing campaign with its first ad agency partner, DiMassino Goldstein.