Indian edtech LEAD School raises $30m in Series D round led by GSV Ventures, WestBridge

Photo: Rohit Farmer/unsplash

Edtech startup, LEAD School, on Monday said it has raised $30 million as a part of its Series D funding round led by global venture capital fund GSV Ventures, along with existing investors WestBridge.

This marks GSV Ventures’ first investment in the Indian edtech space.

According to the Mumbai-based company, the new funds will be used to build a pan-India brand, and rollout new products, as the startup looks to make strategic acquisitions and hire top talent across domains.

The eight year-old-startup which began operations by running affordable schools and teaching middle-school students, pivoted to providing technology-enabled LEAD Integrated System to schools in 2017.

LEAD’s Integrated System (IS) is a tech-enabled stack for schools, which helps them provide digital learning through an online or hybrid-model (of physical and digital) in classrooms, for students from kindergarten to grade 12 (K-12).

The solution currently caters to more than 2,000 schools, and 800,000 students.

“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 specialised 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,” said Sumeet Mehta, co-founder and chief executive officer, LEAD School.

According to the company, it aims to cater to 25,000 schools in the next five years.

The current funding round comes less than a year after the company had raised $28 million as a part of its Series C round led by WestBridge and Elevar Equity in August, last year.

In December, the company had also announced the acquisition of student revision and assessment startup QuizNext.

“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,” said Deborah Quazzo, managing partner at GSV Ventures.

Over the past year, LEAD has been aggressively strengthening its leadership team with senior level appointments and has hired – Ritwik Khare as its chief commercial officer, Harsh Kundra as chief technology officer and Vipul Redey as chief excellence officer amongst others.

The Indian edtech industry continues to be reaping benefits from the tailwinds provided by the pandemic. Indian edtech firms raised $2.1 billion in 2020, the highest among all sectors, against $426 million in 2019, according to data from Venture Intelligence.

The article was first published on livemint.com.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.