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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

December 7, 2011 at 10:18 AM

Netflix boss ups stake in Bellevue’s DreamBox

Bellevue’s DreamBox Learning received another huge cash infusion from Netflix Chief Executive Reed Hastings, who bought the online learning startup last year.

Today DreamBox announced that Hastings is leading a $10 million financing round. Silicon Valley venture capitalist John Doerr also contributed, along with GSV Capital and investor Deborah Quazzo.

DreamBox will use the cash to expand its online curriculum, develop new products and expand distribution and marketing.

The cash will also boost employment. DreamBox expects to reach 80 employees next year, up from its current staff of 47.

“DreamBox Learning has cracked the code on improving early educational outcomes for every child – regardless of zip code,” Doerr said in the release.

Hastings bought DreamBox in April 2010, after he saw it being used in a school in San Jose, Calif. When the deal closed, he invested an additional $10 million to grow the company.

Hastings invested the $10 million and the new stake via the Charter School Growth Fund that backs charter schools.

The DreamBox financing will likely be one of the largest venture deals this quarter in Washington. Last quarter the top five deals ranged from $10.6 to $37 million, and a total of $194.6 million was raised in the state, according to the quarterly MoneyTree Report.

DreamBox said it has served more than 11 million lessons to nearly 500,000 elementary students in all 50 states since fall 2010.

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