NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Acelero, Inc. today announced that the BlackRock Impact Opportunities Fund and The Builders Fund have co-led a strategic investment in the company that will help it expand its mission to dismantle inequalities in early childhood education childhood across the country. The BlackRock Impact Opportunities Fund seeks to improve the economic outcomes of undercapitalized communities of color while uncovering compelling investment opportunities for its clients. BlackRock is joined in this funding round by The Builders Fund, which focuses on purpose-driven companies whose business models deliver positive social and environmental benefits, and A-Street, which invests in innovative learning solutions and achievement of students from kindergarten to 12th grade. families and schools. Acelero will leverage the funding to support ongoing product development, deepen district partnerships, and increase talent recruitment efforts.
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 0-5 and their families in 28 states and territories through their work with state agencies, child care centers, home-based providers, private and public Pre-K and Head Start and Early Head Start programs. This investment will fund the company’s future growth and enable it to serve more children, families and communities.
According to co-founder and CEO Henry Wilde, this funding will support the company’s mission to deepen and broaden its impact in communities across the country.
“We are pleased to join forces with the BlackRock Impact Opportunities Fund, The Builders Fund and A-Street – a unique group of mission-driven, mission-aligned investors. They understand that universal access to high-quality early childhood education, regardless of a child’s race or income, is essential to dismantling inequalities, and they share our vision of a world where children become champions of their own making,” Wilde said.
“We are proud to support Acelero in its mission to close the achievement gap and advance educational outcomes at scale. Acelero’s strong fundamentals and leading technology services platform, along with its vision to eliminate historical biases and systemic inequities in the American education system, make the company a compelling investment for our customers.” , said Aarthi Sowrirajan, lead portfolio manager for BlackRock Impact. Opportunity Fund. “We look forward to partnering with the leadership team at Henry and Acelero, as well as Builders and A-Street, to help expand Acelero’s footprint and deepen its impact in communities.
“The huge unmet need for quality early childhood education has only been exacerbated by the pandemic, and Acelero is uniquely positioned to improve 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 this opportunity. We are proud to partner with Acelero management, BIO Fund and A-Street to ensure the company’s continued growth and impact. said Katharine Hawthorne, vice president of The Builders Fund.
“At a time of unprecedented challenges facing early childhood education in our country, we need proven solutions that deliver high quality support to underserved communities. For more than 20 years, Acelero has been committed to closing the achievement gap and making breakthrough progress in child outcomes. We are excited to partner with BIO Fund and Builders Fund to support the leadership team as Acelero enters this new phase of growth to expand its impact and reach even more families across the country,” commented Mora. Segal, general manager at A-Street.
In addition, three members of the Investor Syndicate will join Acelero’s Board of Directors. Aarthi Sowrirajan, of the BlackRock Impact Opportunities Fund; Katharine Hawthorne, of The Builders Fund; and Mora Segal, of A-Street; will join Tonika Cheek Clayton of McKinsey and Company and Scott Miller of Greenhaven Road Capital on Acelero’s board of directors.
East Wind Advisors served as exclusive financial advisor to Acelero on the transaction.
About BlackRock Alternative Investors
BlackRock Alternative Investors serves investors seeking outperformance in real estate, infrastructure, private equity, credit, hedge funds and alternatives. We strive to provide our investors with the highest quality investments by leveraging our global presence, superior execution capabilities and preferred partner position. BlackRock manages $320 billion in alternative investments and commitments on behalf of clients worldwide as of June 30, 2022.
About the Builders Fund
The Builders Fund is a growth-stage private equity firm that invests in companies that generate exceptional returns while fixing our future. The company partners with established, high-growth North American companies whose core business models create positive social and environmental benefits. Major themes of interest include sustainable systems and human upliftment. Thirty of Builders’ founding limited partners are former operators and entrepreneurs: “Builders”, committed to serving as operating partners to the fund and supporting entrepreneurs and leaders who are building businesses that improve our world.
A-Street is a private sector-sponsored investment fund with a strategic focus on companies and ideas that lead to cohesive, differentially effective and equitable solutions to transform the future of preK-12 learning. Our vision is that every student in our country will have access to rigorous, engaging and positive learning experiences that will lead to economic and social prosperity. A-Street invests in a mix of early-stage, growth-stage and late-stage businesses in the areas of educational content and measurement, sustainability education and student well-being. We invest for the long term and aim to build a true partnership with entrepreneurs and founders through a diverse staff deeply rooted in the practice of education, philanthropy and politics. Our fund structure, investment tools, and incentives are uniquely aligned with what is needed to create and sustain excellence in the preK-12 classrooms. For more information on A-Street, please visit https://www.astreet.ventures/ and on Twitter @astreetventures.