Edtech Space Remains Hot As LEAD School Secures $30 Mn In Series D Round

The latest funding round will be used by the company to accelerate growth by building a pan-India brand, rollout of new product offerings, strategic acquisitions, and hiring top talent across domains

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K-12 edtech player LEAD School that transforms affordable private schools via its integrated system announced on Monday to have raised $30 million in Series D funding round led by Global VC Fund GSV Ventures along with WestBridge, an existing investor. This is GSV Venture’s first major investment in an India-based edtech firm.

LEAD School

The latest funding round will be used by the company to accelerate growth by building a pan India brand, rollout of new product offerings, strategic acquisitions, and hiring top talent across domains.

“Smita and I set up LEAD School to bring excellent education to small towns and affordable schools in India. We are impatient to reach out to the 1.5 million schools and 260 million school-going children in India so that we can transform the arc of education in this country. Globally, GSV is known as a specialized edtech fund that backs innovation-oriented education companies. We hope to benefit from their deep insights and leverage their network to bring more innovation to our students in India. WestBridge has been a great partner and their continued support shows their faith in the difference we are making to our schools and students,” said Sumeet Mehta, co-founder, and chief executive officer, LEAD School.

The company’s unique Integrated System for schools has driven threefold growth in 2020 by helping schools deliver uninterrupted learning whether online, hybrid, or in physical classrooms. Having reached a landmark milestone of over 2000 schools catering to over 800,000 students, and is well on its way to cater to 25,000 schools in the next five years. This is in line with its mission of making excellent education accessible and affordable to every child in the country.

“LEAD School is rapidly emerging as a paradigm for transforming K-12 education. Based in India and partnered with affordable school owners (a segment that is larger than the entire US K-12 system), LEAD serves over 800,000 students today. LEAD has experienced tremendous growth because of its consistent delivery of high academic outcomes to students and high ‘return on education’ to teachers, school owners, and parents. GSV is honored to be investing in an organization that is changing the life trajectory of so many students,” shared Deborah Quazzo, managing partner, GSV Ventures.

This funding round follows the Series C funding of $28 million led by WestBridge and Elevar Equity in August 2020 and the acquisition of student assessment startup QuizNext in December 2020. LEAD has grown at a rapid pace over the last 3 years and the current round is its fourth round of institutional funding since its first investment led by Elevar in 2017, who continues to be a major shareholder.

“In the last few months, the edtech sector has evolved rapidly, changing the trajectory of the Indian education system.  We see great potential in LEAD School, given their innovative and focused approach in ensuring accessible, quality school-level education for all. As a firm, we believe in investing in ventures that have a large scale impact and are convinced LEAD School will create a strong positive impact on the educational outcomes of millions of young minds,” added Sandeep Singhal, co-founder, WestBridge Capital.

Founded by Sumeet Mehta and Smita Deorah in 2012, the company initially began operations by running affordable schools and teaching middle-school students. The company then built its platform, the LEAD integrated system, which it began offering in 2017 with a mission to make excellent schools accessible and affordable to every child.

The platform partners with more than 2000 schools with an estimated over 8 lakh students in more than 400 cities, including tier-II to tier-IV cities, in 20 states.