DreamBox Learning raises M as it proves doing good can be profitable, too

DreamBox LearningDreamBox Learning picked up fans early on because it had a platform that showed technology could be used to better teach students, even in underperforming districts.

For years, the company has been backed by Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and philanthropists who saw its potential to improve education . But now, it’s turning some heads on the business side of things as well.

When the company raised its first round of funding, DreamBox CEO Jessie Woolley-Wilson said a lot of people liked the technology — they just weren’t sure if it could be turned into a profitable business. But that was no longer an issue by the time the Bellevue company went out to raise it’s next $10 million for a Series B.

That round, which closed this week, was led by Owl Ventures, with participation from Tao Capital Partners.

DreamBox Learning CEO Jessie Woolley-WilsonDreamBox Learning CEO Jessie Woolley-Wilson

DreamBox was able to reel in the funding with stats like 90 percent top line revenue growth last school year and a student user base that has doubled every year since 2011. This year, the platform is being used in all 50 states and by more than 75,000 teachers and 1.5 million students. It administers more than 1 million math lessons per day.

“That’s not a mistake,” Woolley-Wilson said. “That’s a business that’s growing. … We’ve always known we have to do well in order to do good.”

What sets DreamBox apart is its platform’s use of machine learning to track student progress and adapt the lessons to fit each individual need. Instead of a one-size-fits-all quiz, students grades K through 8 play games that are infused with personally-tailored lessons.

Woolley-Wilson says the business model is working because students have more access to devices in the classroom than ever before, parents expect schools to be teaching computer skills and there are new technologies constantly improving DreamBox’s ability to learn about each individual student.

The company was founded in 2006 and had 15 employees by 2010. Today it has 125, with plans to grow to 175 people by the end of next year. It has raised more than $30 million in total funding.

“We share the belief that all students deserve an engaging, personalized and effective learning experience, regardless of the ZIP code in which they live,” Woolley-Wilson said in a press release announcing the fundraising. “With this investment, our future remains bright as we continue our important work to reimagine and reshape the future of learning.”




Source: DreamBox Learning raises M as it proves doing good can be profitable, too

Via: Google Alert for ML