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Exclusive: Edtech unicorn LEAD raises debt from Alteria Capital


Edtech unicorn LEAD (formerly Lead School) has raised Rs 35 crore from venture debt firm Alteria Capital. This is the first debt round of the Mumbai-based company in 2022 which turned unicorn in February this year.

The board at LEAD has passed a special resolution to issue 3,500 Series A non-convertible debentures (NCD) to Alteria Capital at an issue price of Rs 1,00,000 per debenture to raise Rs 35 crore or $4.24 million, as per the company’s regulatory filing with the Registrar of Companies (RoC).

LEAD raised a $100 million worth Series E round led by WestBridge Capital and GSV Ventures at a valuation of around $1.1 billion. It was the sixth Indian edtech startup to be valued at over a billion dollars.

LEAD adds to the existing infrastructure of schools by providing them digital resources, books, and designing curriculum, teacher training, teacher manuals, ERPs, and math-science kits among others. As per the company’s website, it has a presence in over 400 cities across more than 20 states along with 25K teachers onboard and a student base of over 1.2 million.

While LEAD is yet to disclose its annual financial statement for FY22, the company reported over 3X growth in operating revenues to Rs 57.1 crore in FY21. As per Fintrackr’s analysis, its annual losses ballooned 153% to Rs 126 crore in FY21 as compared to Rs 36.4 crore in FY20.

Soon after the unicorn round, LEAD announced an ESOP liquidation plan of close to $3 million for its employees. The company also laid off anywhere between 80-90 employees in August for cost cutting measures. Entrackr had exclusively reported about the layoff. The company majorly competes with Teachmint along with several small scale companies.

Debt funding in growth and late-stage startups saw an upward trend in the past few months. Udaan and Rebel Foods raised back-to-back debt funds recently. As per data compiled by Fintrackr, growth stage companies including Dunzo, ReshaMandi, Byju’s, Reevoy, Perfios, HomeLane, Epigamia, Ather Energy, and Mobikwik have raised debt funds this year.

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