DreamBox Learning sells majority stake to private equity firm as annual revenue tops $100M

Jessie Woolley-Wilson, CEO of DreamBox Learning. (DreamBox Learning Photo)

Seattle-area education technology company DreamBox Learning sold a majority stake to Evergreen Coast Capital Corp., a tech-focused Silicon Valley affiliate of private equity firm Elliott Investment Management. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Founded in 2006, DreamBox sells software to K-12 schools. The company’s technology adapts to individual students based on their answers and how they solve problems. Teachers and administrators get access to analytics and reporting. The 400-person company, ranked No. 18 on the GeekWire 200, supports 6 million students and 400,000 educators.

DreamBox said its annual revenues are on target for more than $100 million.

“Our mission is to radically transform the way the world learns, and this partnership will propel DreamBox into the next phase of growth as we expand the reach of our best-of-breed, dual-discipline solution,” Jessie Woolley-Wilson, president and CEO of DreamBox, said in a statement.

After earning an MBA from Harvard and working on Wall Street, Woolley-Wilson switched to the education sector, serving as president of Blackboard’s K–12 Group and of LeapFrog SchoolHouse, as well as holding leadership roles with the College Board and the test-prep company Kaplan. She took the helm of DreamBox in 2010.

Existing investor TPG’s The Rise Fund, a social impact VC whose investors include Bono and Richard Branson, will retain a significant minority stake. It invested $130 million in DreamBox three years ago.

DreamBox had previously raised $14.5 million in 2013 from investors including Netflix co-CEO Netflix Reed Hastings, and raised a $10 million Series B round in 2015.

The company this year made two acquisitions, buying reading programs Reading Plus and Squiggle Park. It has an additional office in Raleigh, N.C.

The deal is the latest in a red-hot market for funding, private equity buyouts, acquisitions, IPOs, SPACs, and other transactions. On GeekWire’s Pacific Northwest “Deal Tracker” we’ve recorded nearly 60 acquisitions, SPACs, IPOs and private equity buyouts so far this year.

DreamBox is one of many ed-tech startups attracting attention amid the pandemic and shift to remote learning. Ed-tech startups raised a record $2.2 billion in 2020, up nearly 30% year-over-year.

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