LEAD, previously known as LEAD School, today announced raising of $100 million in fresh capital as a part of its Series E funding round. The round was led by WestBridge Capital and GSV Ventures, one of their largest edtech investments. The funding round pus LEAD’s valuation at $1.1 billion. The unicorn had raised $30 million in April last year.
With this, LEAD also becomes the third unicorn this year, after D2C player Mamaearth and AI firm Fractal, and the first school edtech unicorn ever. Additionally, it joins an exclusive list that contains Byju’s, Unacademy, Eruditus, UpGrad, and Vedantu as the sixth edtech unicorn of India.
The proceeds from the funding round will be utilized towards innovating its product and curriculum, growing its footprint, and hiring top talent across functions. Its long-term goal is to deepen its footprint in the country and clock overseas expansion, as well as reach over 25 million students and increase its annual revenue run-rate to $1 billion.
LEAD, founded by Sumeet Yashpal Mehta and Smita Deorah in 2012, provides tech-enabled solutions to schools with a focus on digital learning through an online or hybrid model of classrooms. Unlike its fellow edtech companies, which offer education in K-12 or Higher education, LEAD works with schools and focuses to transform core schooling across the country.
It already works with 5,000 schools across over 500 cities, helping them secure books and other resources from vendors and providing tech-integrated solutions and modern learning tools such as Teacher Tablets, which come with pre-loaded LEAD Teachers’ App & video content.
“We believe that in EdTech, Saraswati precedes Lakshmi. Our intense focus has been on the 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 an excellent education for every child,” said LEAD co-founders Sumeet Yashpal Mehta and Smita Deorah.