Edtech company DreamBox Learning announced that it has raised $130 million in funding today. The investment came from The Rise Fund, a venture firm managed by TPG Growth and aimed at combining positive social and environmental change with financial profit.
Founded in Bellevue in 2006, DreamBox Learning’s intelligent adaptive learning software helps K-8 level students improve their proficiency in math. The machine learning-enabled platform adapts to individual students based not only on their answers, but also on how they work through each problem — analyzing over 48,000 data points per student. The result is a math lesson that is tailored to the learning style and skills of each individual user.
In 2016, Harvard’s Center for Education Policy Research published the results of a test of DreamBox Learning usage in the Howard County Public School System and Rocketship Education charter schools. The independent study found that students who spent more time on the platform were more likely to show greater improvement in their math skills.
DreamBox Learning president and CEO Jessie Woolley-Wilson said The Rise Fund’s goals aligned with those of her own company.
“DreamBox was founded with the mission to transform the way the world learns by using intelligent adaptive technology to dynamically and continuously personalize each student’s learning experience,” she said in a statement. “As a company, we have been committed to unlocking the learning potential of every child regardless of what zip code they live in, what they look like, or what language they speak.”
Three million students currently use DreamBox Learning across every state in the country. The company also operates in Canada, and recently expanded its offerings into Mexico, where students use a Spanish-language version.
A confluence of policy and technology trends has created the right environment for a best-in-class company like DreamBox to drive significant market penetration."
In the statement, the company said it would use the investment — 13 times bigger than its last funding round in 2015 — to accelerate its growth as it aims to become “a powerful partner in every classroom, school and district.” The company will also expand its sales, marketing and operations teams.
The Rise Fund’s education sector lead, John Rogers, said DreamBox Learning’s technology fulfilled a long-held promise of education technology.
“I have followed Jessie’s work at DreamBox for many years,” Rogers said in a statement. “Recently a confluence of policy and technology trends has created the right environment for a best-in-class company like DreamBox to drive significant market penetration.”
The investment gives The Rise Fund a majority stake in DreamBox Learning. As part of the deal, former U.S. Education Secretary and senior education advisor for The Rise Fund Arne Duncan will take a seat on DreamBox Learning’s Board of Directors.
Duncan said he was a “big fan” of the company and its founder.
“We know that education technology helps students and supports teachers,” Duncan said in the statement. “Providing more effective tools for teachers that drive student learning gains is a win-win for our schools.”