New York-based education technology company, Acelero, Inc recently announced that it has raised an undisclosed amount in a strategic investment.
The funding round was co-led by BlackRock Impact Opportunities Fund and The Builders Fund, with participation from East Wind Advisors, who served as the exclusive financial advisor for the company in the transaction.
According to the company’s statement, the startup plans to use the latest fundraise to expand its mission to dismantle inequities in early childhood education across the country. It also plans to develop the product, further deepen its district partnerships, and augment talent recruitment efforts.
Founded in 2001, Acelero, Inc. and its divisions Acelero Learning, Shine Early Learning, and Spark Learning Lab, are pioneers in early childhood education and family engagement services, impacting more than 150,000 children ages birth to five and their families across 28 states and territories through their work with state agencies, child care centers, home-based providers, private and public pre-K. It envisioned a world where children become champions of their own making; where historical biases and systemic inequities no longer stand in the way of their infinite promise.
Commenting on the fundraising, Co-founder & CEO of Acelero, Inc., Henry Wilde, said:
“We are pleased to join forces with the BlackRock Impact Opportunities Fund, The Builders Fund, and A-Street – a unique group of mission-driven investors aligned with our mission. They understand that universal access to high quality early childhood education, regardless of a child’s race or income, is critical to dismantling inequity, and they share our vision of a world where children become champions of their own making.”
The startup is on a mission to design and deliver inclusive, anti-bias, and rigorous approaches to eliminate the gaps between young children’s inherent potential and their achievement in school and life.
Aarthi Sowrirajan, Senior Portfolio Manager, BlackRock Impact Opportunities Fund, added:
“We are proud to support Acelero in its mission to close the achievement gap and advance education outcomes at scale. Acelero’s strong fundamentals and leading technology-enabled services platform, along with its vision to eliminate historical biases and systemic inequities in the U.S. education system, makes the company a compelling investment for our clients. We look forward to partnering with Henry and Acelero’s management team, together with Builders and A-Street, to help extend Acelero’s footprint and deepen its impact across communities.”
Katharine Hawthorne, Vice President, The Builders Fund has also commented on the investment, saying:
“The massive unmet need for quality early childhood education has only been heightened by the pandemic, and Acelero is uniquely positioned to deliver improved child and family outcomes at scale. The company’s impressive operating history, the caliber of its mission-driven team, and its commitment to data-driven innovation attracted Builders to the opportunity. We are proud to partner with Acelero management, the BIO Fund, and A-Street to steward the company’s continued growth and impact.”
It is reported that three members of the investor syndicate will join Acelero’s board. Aarthi Sowrirajan, from the BlackRock Impact Opportunities Fund; Katharine Hawthorne, from The Builders Fund; and Mora Segal, from A-Street; will join Tonika Cheek Clayton, of McKinsey and Company, and Scott Miller, from Greenhaven Road Capital, on Acelero’s Board of Directors.
In 2015, Acelero Learning had received $4 million in debt financing from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation for children’s health