Mumbai-based Lead School Becomes Sixth Edtech Unicorn After Raising USD 100 million


Edtech firm Lead School has raised $100 million from investors led by GSV Ventures and WestBridge Capital, doubling its valuation in less than a year to $1.1 billion.

The money will be used to focus on product and curriculum innovation, growth in its footprint and hiring top talent across functions, said the company in a press release. In the long term, it also plans to go deeper in the country to serve students in lower fee schools and expand internationally in similar geographies.

Founded by Sumeet Yashpal Mehta and Smita Deorah, the nine-year-old company provides integrated curriculum and technology solutions to private schools with books, workbooks, smart classes, teacher training, teacher manuals, ERPs, or Math-Science kits. Lead School ties up with schools instead of going direct to children.

The financing round makes Lead School the third startup to enter India’s unicorn club in 2022, after direct-to-consumer brand Mamaearth and Fractal, an artificial intelligence firm. It is also the sixth Indian edtech company to reach unicorn status. Unicorns are privately held startups with a valuation of $1 billion and above.

Also, Read This: Edtech Unicorn upGrad Acquires Mumbai-based Work Better For An Undisclosed Amount

According to Mehta, Lead School works with 5,000 schools across 500 cities. By the start of the next fiscal, the company aims to reach 2 million students across the country. Mehta said the edtech firm has hit an annual contract value (garnered from partnering schools) of $80 million in 2021-22, reported ET.

Lead School “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,” Deborah Quazzo, Managing Partner at GSV Ventures, said.

“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 its mission of transforming the education sector in India,” said Sandeep Singhal, managing director at WestBridge Capital.

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