Edtech startup LEAD (formerly Lead School) has raised $100 million in its Series E round led by WestBridge Capital with participation from GSV Ventures. The Mumbai-based company had raised $30 million in its Series D funding round led by GSV Ventures in April last year.
According to the company, it has raised fresh funds at a valuation of $1.1 billion. LEAD has become the sixth edtech startup to join the club of unicorns which until now included Byju’s, Unacademy, Eruditus, upGrad and Vedantu.
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 claims to have tied up with over 3,000 schools catering to more than 12 lakh students and has a presence in 400 cities in 20 States. The company further plans to provide affordable education to more than 25 million students with an annual revenue run-rate of $1 billion.
For the fiscal year ending on March 31, 2021, or FY21, LEAD reported operating revenues of Rs 57.1 crore [$8 million] as compared to Rs 28.6 crore [$3.8 million] earned during the previous fiscal. Along with the growth of scale, the company’s annual expenses also grew by 128% to Rs 186.6 crore [$25 million] in FY21 from Rs 66.4 crore [$9 million] in FY20.
Byju’s is the highest valued startup in the edtech space at around $21 billion followed by Unacademy which was valued at $3.44 billion during its latest round in August last year. Eruditus, upGrad and Vedantu are valued at around $3.2 billion, $1.2 billion and $1 billion respectively.
As per Fintrackr’s data, edtech was the largest funded segment in 2021. The total amount of investment raised by edtech startups during the year was recorded at $5.78 billion across 141 deals followed by fintech in which startups raised $5.07 billion across 186 deals.