Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and The Charter Fund Acquire DreamBox Learning
Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) CEO Reed Hastings has bought DreamBox Learning, an e-learning company. The acquisition was made through a partnership between Hastings and The Charter Fund. The acquisition includes a $10 million investment designed for promoting the growth of the company. Before Hastings was the CEO of Netflix, he was a math teacher. DreamBox has online games designed to make learning fun. Below is the full press release [paidContent].
DreamBox Learning Acquired by Charter Fund in Partnership with Education Philanthropist and Netflix CEO Reed Hastings
Agreement Includes $10 Million R&D Investment and Newly Appointed Board Members; Company Poised for Accelerated Growth as Leading Innovator of Effective E-Learning in the Classroom
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., April 20, 2010 — DreamBox Learning (DreamBox Learning K-3 Math), today announced that it has been acquired by a new partnership between Reed Hastings, a renowned education philanthropist and Chief Executive Officer of Netflix, Inc. and the Charter Fund, a non-profit venture capital firm (“the Fund”). The news was issued at the Education Innovation Summit being held today at Arizona State University where Mr. Hastings is speaking about emerging education enterprises and initiatives. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
The DreamBox Learning agreement with Mr. Hastings and the Fund includes an additional $10 million investment that will serve to expedite the company’s aggressive growth strategy to significantly increase its footprint in U.S. schools with the development of new e-Learning content across a variety of core disciplines as well as ongoing technology advancements to the DreamBox Learning Platform.
“I have evaluated many companies in the K-12 e-Learning marketplace and DreamBox Learning clearly stood out. They have already shown strong results in a short period of time, and the DreamBox Learning Platform has the best underlying adaptive technology, giving every student the opportunity to thrive through innovative online learning,” said Mr. Hastings. “My end goal of bringing DreamBox Learning and The Charter Fund together is to fuel the movement of e-Learning and help millions of students.”
The acquisition also gives the Fund the ability to reach a broader range of students. “This investment allows us to further deliver on our commitment to help public education thrive by providing critical resources and tools to traditional public schools, charter schools, private schools and schools on a global basis,” said Kevin Hall, CEO and President of The Charter School Growth Fund.
Since the Bellevue, Washington-based company’s launch in April 2008, DreamBox Learning has released a series of effective online math products for the school and home environments, targeting young students in kindergarten through third grade. The products’ patent pending “engine” constantly assesses each student’s mathematical understanding, provides the most suitable hints and encouragement at the right pace for that child, and offers the next personally appropriate activities as subsequent choices. Teachers and parents are able to integrate DreamBox Learning products into the classroom and home to help reinforce foundational math concepts through effective, individualized instruction while kids embrace the experience as a fun and engaging adventure-style game.
The company’s first product, DreamBox Learning K-2 Math, debuted in January 2009 and has since won more than 20 education and technology industry awards. In April 2009, at the prompting of teachers, DreamBox Learning released DreamBox Math Classroom, a version designed exclusively for the school environment. Earlier this month, the company released the latest version, DreamBox Learning K-3 Math, which expanded the original K-2 content to include 3rd grade, delivering a total of more than 500 core lessons and unlimited variations based on the Focal Points set by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM).
Moving forward, Mr. Hastings will serve as DreamBox Learning Chairman of the Board. His executive role at Netflix will remain unchanged. The acquisition also brings two new additional members to DreamBox Learning’s Board of Directors, each with exceptionally deep education expertise — Kevin Hall, CEO and President of Charter School Growth Fund and John Danner, Co-Founder and CEO of Rocketship Education, and former CEO of the public firm NetGravity.
About DreamBox Learning (www.dreambox.com)
DreamBox Learning was founded in 2006 in Bellevue, Washington and acquired in April 2010 by the Charter Fund in partnership with Reed Hastings, a widely recognized educational philanthropist and CEO of Netflix, Inc. The company launched a Web-based platform and its first adventure-themed online learning product called DreamBox Learning K-2 Math in January 2009, followed by the DreamBox Math Classroom in April 2009 and DreamBox Learning K-3 Math in April 2010. The products target young students in kindergarten through third grade and are designed to reinforce and teach real math through effective, individualized instruction in an engaging and fun manner. DreamBox Learning K-3 Math is based on NCTM Focal Points, reflecting lessons taught in the classroom. More information can be found at www.dreambox.com.
About The Charter School Growth Fund
The Charter School Growth Fund is a social venture investment fund founded in 2005 to significantly increase the capacity of proven education entrepreneurs to serve more children. By providing financial resources and strategic expertise, the Charter School Growth Fund enables some of the nation’s most innovative entrepreneurs to build scalable, self-sufficient schooling organizations that provide quality educational options to thousands of underserved families in diverse communities. More information can be found at www.charterschoolgrowthfund.org.This article was written by Amit Chowdhry. You can follow me at @amitchowdhry or on Google+ at +AmitChowdhry