Impact Investment Profile

Investor

W.K. Kellogg Foundation

Investee

Wireless Generation

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation's Mission Driven Investments team invests capital from the foundation's endowment in companies seeking to achieve social impact. Wireless Generation is a technology company that creates tools to enable personalized learning and teaching. The foundation's quasi-equity investment provided working capital needed to grow the company.

Investor Targeted Impact

Improve educational outcomes for students

Investor

Name W.K. Kellogg Foundation
Investor description The W.K. Kellogg Foundation is committed to supporting children, families, and communities as they strengthen and create conditions that propel vulnerable children to achieve success as individuals and as contributors to the larger community and society. Its Mission Driven Investments team provides promising companies smart and flexible capital through a double-bottom line investing mandate that seeks to achieve social impact without compromising on economic returns.

Investee

Name Wireless Generation
Sector Education; ICT
Geography North America - United States
Investee business model Wireless Generation (WG) produces tools, data systems, and services to support the use of data to improve teaching and learning, and personalize instruction. It provides a software solution that enables teachers to give assessments accurately and easily through a mobile device, recording responses while students use paper materials. The technology delivers results instantly with instructional recommendations customized for each child so that educators can adapt lessons immediately. In addition to technology solutions, WG also provides consulting services, working side-by-side with educators in their schools, helping them apply data analysis and problem-solving to their student data. WG is a key partner in the design and development of New York City's comprehensive data system called ARIS (Achievement and Reporting Innovation System), and helped roll it out to more than 90,000 educators serving 1.1 million students and their parents. The company is also the lead technology partner on NYC's School of One, an effort to re-think the traditional classroom model and customize the learning experience.
Motivations for investment WG has ten years of operating history, a strong management team, and proven proprietary technology and product. It needed working capital to fund the strong anticipated growth opportunity during a catalytic period in the education sector with U.S. President Obama Administration's Race to the Top federal stimulus driving growth in the sector. The foundation proactively approached WG because the company matched the foundation's education impact focus sector, particularly with its innovative ways to integrate assessment with instruction.

Investment

Instrument Quasi-equity
Investment size USD 5 million
Source of deal This investment was sourced through a combination of a W.K. Kellogg Foundation market scan on education investment opportunities (implemented by Imprint Capital Advisors and led by internal Kellogg mission investing staff) and its network of grant making contacts.
Stage of company at time of investment Growth stage
Purpose of investment WG was well-positioned to be a solution provider to U.S. states selected in the USD 4.3 billion Race to the Top federal education funding competition, but needed access to growth capital. The USD 5 million bridge loan provided the working capital needed to capture this growth opportunity. W.K. Kellogg Foundation's investment also helped attract an additional capital from other investors.
Investment impact objectives Through the investment, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation sought to support the growth and success of an innovative education technology company that improves education quality and teacher effectiveness, particularly targeting vulnerable children, and to foster continued innovation in the sector.
Social and environmental metrics tracked on investment W.K. Kellogg tracks the following impact metrics on this investment, including IRIS metrics (IRIS alignment noted in parenthesis):Learners reached (IRIS aligned - School Enrollment PI2389)Socio-economic make-up of learners reachedTeachers served

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