DreamBox Picks Up $130 Million, and New Board Member: Arne Duncan

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The digital math company DreamBox Learning has picked up a massive infusion of capital—$130 million—from an investment group, and it has added a big name to its board of directors: Arne Duncan.

DreamBox announced Tuesday that it is the recipient of that substantial monetary infusion from The Rise Fund, a global investment company that seeks financial returns from its support for social and environmental causes.

Duncan, who served as U.S. Secretary of Education under President Barack Obama, is a senior education advisor to The Rise Fund, which counts former eBay President Jeffrey Skoll, investor and philanthropist Laurene Powell Jobs, and U2 frontman Bono among its board members.

The investment will be the largest-ever education investment made by The Rise Fund, which will take a majority position in DreamBox.

Duncan’s move onto DreamBox’s board was announced by the two organizations in a statement.

DreamBox officials said the $130 million will support the overall expansion of the company’s sales, marketing, and operations, as well as improvements to its platform, which places an emphasis on adaptive learning and analysis for school users.

The investment will also allow DreamBox to add more predictive analytics to its program and connections to print usage, and possibly allow the company to add additional grade levels and subjects in the future, the company told Marketplace K-12.

The company’s math program currently focuses on grades K-8. DreamBox says it serves 3 million students across the United States, as well as Canada. It also recently extended its reach into Mexico, where it offers a Spanish-language version of the platform. The Rise Fund’s investment will allow it to reach more students in all three countries.

“By joining forces with The Rise Fund, DreamBox gains a partner whose mission of social impact is perfectly aligned with ours,” said Jessie Woolley-Wilson, DreamBox’s president and CEO, in a statement.

John Rogers, the education sector lead for The Rise Fund, said his organization saw an opportunity through the investment to deliver “personalized learning and adaptive instruction at scale.”

“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,” Rogers said.

Duncan also said the company had his confidence, and that “education technology helps students and supports teachers.”

“Providing more effective tools for teachers that drive student learning gains is a win-win for our schools,” the former secretary and chief of the Chicago school system said.

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