Indian edtech startup LEAD enters unicorn club after $100m Series E fundraise

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LEAD, a school-focused edtech company, on Thursday announced that it has raised $100 million in a Series E funding round led by private equity firm WestBridge Capital, and GSV Ventures.

The round has valued the company at $1.1 billion, thus making it the first edtech company to enter the unicorn club (startups valued at $1 billion and above) in 2022.

The current round is its fifth round of institutional funding since 2017.

In a statement, LEAD said that it 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 billion. Its immediate focus would be towards product and curriculum innovation, growing footprint, and hiring talent across functions.

In the long term, the company plans 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,” said LEAD co-founders Sumeet Yashpal Mehta and Smita Deorah.

Founded by Sumeet Yashpal Mehta and Smita Deorah in 2012, LEAD claims to be combining 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 said it has seen rapid adoption in the last 4 years and will enter academic year 22-23 with 5,000 schools across 500+ cities in India with an annual revenue run-rate of $80 million. It’ll serve close to 2 million students.

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.