EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

LEAD, India's largest School EdTech major, becomes first 'EdTech Unicorn' of 2022 after raising $100 mn

LEAD | January 14, 2022

LEAD, India's largest School EdTech player, has raised US $100 million at a valuation of $1.1 billion to continue its mission of transforming schools in India.

This funding creates history on several fronts:
  • Makes LEAD the first School EdTech player to enter the Unicorn club
  • Makes LEAD the first EdTech Unicorn of 2022

The Series E funding round was led by WestBridge Capital and GSV Ventures, making this one of their largest EdTech investment to fuel the company's ambitious vision of providing excellent education to every child.

While most other EdTech companies offer supplemental education in K-12 or Higher education, LEAD is the only EdTech unicorn focused on transforming core schooling in India with its tech-integrated solutions. The company has seen rapid adoption in the last 4 years and will enter Academic Year 22-23 with 5000 schools across 500+ cities in India with an annual revenue run-rate of $80 million. It'll serve close to 2 million students and is unique in committing and delivering measurable improvement in student learning outcomes in schools.

The company plans to use the proceeds to achieve its vision of providing quality affordable education to 25 million+ students with an annual revenue run-rate of $1 Bn. Immediate focus would be towards product and curriculum innovation, growth in its footprint and hiring top talent across functions. In the long term, the company plans to go deeper in the country to serve students in lower fee schools and expand internationally in similar geographies.

"A child spends 6 hours in school and only 1 hour in tuitions. Transforming schools, when done right, has massive potential to alter our country's future. LEAD, with its integrated school system has broken new ground in this direction. We believe that in EdTech, Saraswati precedes Lakshmi. Our intense focus has been on learning outcomes and life success of our students. And this has resulted in not only strong adoption and retention by schools but also interest from investors who value returns with real impact. We're extremely thankful to our team of LEADers for staying true to our mission and helping take LEAD to all corners of the country. And we're fortunate to have the trust and support of partners such as WestBridge, Elevar Equity and GSV in this journey. This is a small milestone in our quest towards excellent education for every child."

LEAD Co-founders Sumeet Yashpal Mehta and Smita Deorah

WestBridge Capital Managing Director Sandeep Singhal said, "We are extremely proud of LEAD's success as the largest School EdTech provider in India. LEAD's growth last year, despite COVID disruptions, underlines its consumer first approach and deep focus on learning outcomes. We are excited to double down our investment in LEAD, to support in its mission of transforming the education sector in India and touching lives of millions of students."

GSV Ventures Managing Partner Deborah Quazzo said, "LEAD has emerged as the gold standard for transforming K-12 education in India. The company acts as the Intel inside for affordable schools and guarantees 70%+ mastery in all subjects and all grades for low/middle income students and exceeds the guarantee. We, at GSV, believe that the mastery guarantee is a revolutionary offering in K12 education space and has the potential to be societally transformational for students. With this strong and unique value proposition and exceptional management team, LEAD is well on its path to become world's largest and most impactful School EdTech company."

The company's valuation has doubled in the last 9 months on the back of strong growth in its operating and financial metrics. The current round is its fifth round of institutional funding since 2017.

Founded by Sumeet Yashpal Mehta and Smita Deorah in 2012, LEAD has been transforming core schooling in India with its innovative full-stack School EdTech solution. Over the years, LEAD has been making global-standard education accessible and affordable to students, especially in non-metro cities. The curriculum in a LEAD-powered school is benchmarked with the best in the world, including schools in Singapore, Canada and USA.

About LEAD:
LEAD is India's foremost player in the School EdTech category promoted by Sumeet Yashpal Mehta and Smita Deorah, with the mission to transform school education in India. It combines technology, curriculum, and pedagogy into an integrated system of teaching and learning, thus improving student learning outcomes and teacher performance in schools across the country. LEAD's innovative and highly-effective Integrated Learning System significantly strengthens the role of schools, teachers, and parents in advancing the overall growth and development of every child by providing quality education.

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